Susan Pfeffer's "Life As We Knew It"

644 words - 3 pages

In Susan Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It, life for Miranda and her family comes to a screeching halt after a meteor collides with the moon, triggering calamitous natural disasters. After the initial tragedy, humanity is left with unanswered questions, to which no one seems to have answers for. As a result, Miranda must forget about her normal, mundane life and focus on the hardship ahead of her and her family. With her world collapsing around her, she is left with choices and responsibilities that affect her loved ones as much as herself. Through literary devices, Pfeffer emphasizes the emotional struggles and physical battles Miranda must surmount before and after the misfortunate collision.
Prior to the meteor, Pfeffer initially characterizes Miranda as an average teenager that embodies selfishness and apathy, but later reveals that these attributes do change. Before life becomes utter chaos, Miranda spends her time worrying about the things in her life like having “enough money for…skating lessons” (8) or “spen[ding] the weekend working on an english paper” (10). When Miranda is offered to be her unborn sibling’s godmother, she “[can’t] exactly say no”, but is secretly uninterested and dispirited towards the idea (3). This disinterest supports Pfeffer’s indication that Miranda is apathetic and also highlights the way her attitude towards the situation changes later in the novel. Along with apathy, Miranda tries to avoid thinking about “lifetime commitments” which addresses the fact that she denies responsibility (6). After hearing that this “is going to be the biggest asteroid ever to hit [the moon]”, the family experiences a combination of excitement, anxiety, and suspicion (11). While Miranda and her family await the impact, Miranda’s skepticism foreshadows something going awry. Proving her prediction correct, Miranda is uneasy when the moon is forced off-center, but she also contributes to the theme of fearing the unknown. CLINCHERRRRRRRRRR.
As nature becomes more unpredictable, Pfeffer indicates...

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