Free Study Guide: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank - Free BookNotes|
ALAS, BABYLON BY PAT FRANK: FREE ONLINE STUDY GUIDE / NOTES
1. The minorities and “white trash” live in nearby Pistolville. Explain the symbolism of the town’s name.
2. The novel was written and set in the 1950s when equality between the sexes and races did not yet exist to any large degree. How would the novel be different if it were written today and set in more recent times when men and women and the different races are more nearly seen as equals?
3. Much of Fort Repose’s struggle to survive is based on the need to overcome racism and discrimination - recognizing that all people are needed and that discrimination is something they cannot afford. How would the novel be different if it were set in more recent times when society has made great strides in overcoming racial prejudice? Develop a thesis on the concept of racism in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
4. In the days following The Day, “essential” goods and services (electricity, water, fresh food, medicines, etc.) are gone. What do you think would be the most serious loss and why? How would that change you?
5. In Chapter 6, Helen makes an “inventory of necessities.” Do you think her list was a good one? Did she omit something or include something that wasn’t really a necessity? If you had to make such a list, what would be on it?
6. Helen says that her children grew up and have lived under the shadow of nuclear war - “For them the abnormal has become normal.” Do today’s children live under a shadow? If so, what is it and what are the consequences?
7. After "The Day", almost all contact with the outside world is cut off. If you were in that situation, what would you miss the most?
8. Why was it important for the author to have the Acting Chief Executive be a woman? When answering, consider the roles and expectations of women in the 1950s.
9. With regard to the prior question: How would the role of a woman in the same situation be different today?
10. How does the death of Florence’s fish reflect the theme of survival?
11. Part of the process of survival is finding enough food. How does the Bragg household solve this problem? Do you have another solution? If so, what is it?
12. How has terrorism and 09/11/2001 affected your life in comparison
to the events in this novel? Are they similar?
1; A; 2. D; 3. C; 4. C; 5. D; 6. A; 7. B; 8. C; 9. B; 10. D
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. 09 May 2017