Nevil Shute's On The Beach Essay

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Technology gives the world power, but it does not tell them how to use that power. The technological advances being made in this world give the ability to wipe out all of humanity with one, single, nuclear war and that is exactly what is happening in Nevil Shute’s post-apocalyptic novel “On the Beach.” The technology gives humans the knowledge, but then it empowers them to do what they like, without thinking. In Nevil Shute’s “On the Beach,” Shute establishes complex relationships with technology through character development to prove that humans fixate on the beauty of technology that they fail to see the destruction it causes to humanity itself. In an unrealistic move, Shute chooses not to portray characters who have crackpot schemes to save themselves (Feller “Beach”). Though humans focus now on technology and its advances, most characters have a particular liking towards it. Lieutenant Sunderstrom has great admiration for well-constructed machinery throughout the story. When a machine breaks, he ends up giving it a more humane death. The actual humans in the war receive a much more gruesome death often caused by machines themselves. The irony here is surely recognizable. Why should a replaceable machine…show more content…
Those people at the racetrack could not have cared less if someone had actually been killed as long as their own car is the fastest and most efficient. “Nobody worried very much about the prospect of a car spinning off the course and killing a few spectators…” (Shute 232). All those who drive and repair race cars have a similarity to the people who created the atomic bomb in a sense that they do not want to take responsibility for any danger, but are ready and willing to use it. Human life no longer has value, but did it ever have any? If human life truly does have value, then the humans should not be facing their own mass-extinction of the

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