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The Main Issues Arising In 'children Of The Dust'

1227 words - 5 pages

'Children of the Dust' is a novel by Louise Lawrence. It deals with the aftermath of nuclear war. It shows how the survivors of the attack struggle to survive and adapt to their new surrounding. It displays a family split up into two groups, the group of people inside the bunker and the group of people outside. The story covers a period of about fifty years, illustrating the way of life of the descendants of the people inside and outside the bunker. Even though the insiders and outsiders originated from the same family, they all end up having very different views on how human life should be continued. I believe that the main issues raised in 'Children of the Dust' are survival, prejudice and ...view middle of the document...

Sarah felt it was best that Catherine moved on to live with Johnson. The two together start their own 'Utopia' civilisation (with genetically mutated descendants who adapt to the environment) together.Catherine's father does not make it home in time before the nuclear attack and unforeseeable circumstances see that he seeks refuge in the government controlled bunker. In the book, the way of life in the bunker is sharply contrasted with life on the outside. We are able to make comparisons between the two groups of people who are both struggling to survive and rebuild their society.The people living in the bunker have a large store of food and resources. They rely on computer images to remember and teach future generations about art, nature and the world as it was before the attack. Their civilisation is very advanced from a technology point of view - probably too dependant on the latter, as they are incapable of surving without technology. When their food supplies run out and their electricity goes down they are left with very little options. The outsiders, on the other hand rely on the basic survival methods such as agriculture and sewing. The outsiders have to work very hard to build their society and they struggle to reproduce, as most of the children are grossly deformed.Initially the people inside the bunker are better off than the people on the outside. However, in the long run, the outsiders fare better. the people in the bunker run out of supplies and electricity. They become dependant on the outsiders as the outsiders have developed the necessary survival skills that the people in the bunker had not bothered to develop. The people inside the bunker become 'dinosaurs in a bunker' and they cannot survive in or outside the bunker as they have not adapted to the environment like the outsides whose thin slit eyes and thin coat of fur protected them from the harsh rays of the sun.Prejudice is evident in the relationships between the outsiders and the people in the bunker as they both have very different views about society and morals, and they have different appearances.Civilisations cannot afford to be prejudiced as prejudice causes conflict, which can eventually lead to war.The people inside the bunker think that they are superior to the outsiders and only make contact with...

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