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Science Fictions in Z for Zachariah

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Nathan MacPherson

on 5 December 2014

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Transcript of Science Fictions in Z for Zachariah

Plot Summary: Ann Burden, has lost her whole family and is the lone survivor of nuclear holocaust. She survived as she lived in a remote valley protected by the nuclear blast. Ann Burden is threatened by the arrival in her valley of an unknown intruder. Will the intruder bring Ann's life fortune or grief?

Main Characters:

Ann Burden- Protagonist, 16 years old, born and raised in Burden Valley.

John R. Loomis- Antagonist, Scientist/Chemist from Ithaca, New York.
Thank you!
Science Fiction Elements

By Nathan MacPherson

Science Fiction Elements in Z for Zachariah
By Robert C. O'Brien
Theme: The theme in Z for Zachariah is built around survival and fighting for survival. In the whole of the novel these themes are conveyed with the main characters thought and actions. In the novel, Ann Burden is surviving fine until an intruder enters her valley named John R. Loomis then it becomes a fight for survival for Ann.
Quote from Book:
"This morning I went as I planned. I put on my good slacks, took the 22. and hung the binoculars around my neck. I climbed a tree and saw him coming up the road" (page. 18)
Explanation of Quote:
This quote explains how interested Ann is in the arrival of the intruder, she is intrigued and worried about his arrival to the valley as he could bring her comfort or terror.

Minor Characters:
Quote to describe the minor characters:

"My family never came back, and neither did Mr or Mrs Klein. I know now there weren't any Amish, nor anybody in Dean Town. They were all dead too." (page. 10-11)

-The physical setting for the book is Burden Valley, a valley that survived the nuclear holocaust. Everything around the valley was destroyed, the valley was protected by the large hills surrounding it. The valley is full of lush green bushes and has a steam supplying fresh water to the residents of Burden Valley.
"people always used to say the valley had its own weather" (pg. 46)
"A meteorological enclave. Some kind of inversion" (pg. 46)

-The environmental setting plays a big part in how the books description is written. The environment of the valley is ideal for the books structure as it gives a place for Ann to spy on John and hide from him. The natural resources and soil of the valley allow the Burdens to plant vegetables and farm animals for food.
"And you managed to stay alive, and raise chickens and eggs and cows?" "It hasn't been so hard" (pg. 46)
"I am in terrible trouble, Mr Loomis shot me. I haven't written in my journal for several weeks. i was too sick and too afraid" (pg. 153)

- The atmosphere in the novel is surrounding Ann's actions and feelings, as when Ann is happy the mood is full of joy and environment is gracious. But when Ann is unhappy or worried the mood changes and tension rises, the environment changes.
Quote to support description:
"I woke up early, feeling cheerful, thinking that there was someone to talk to" (pg. 45)

-Ann's mood was soon changed as she got to know John a bit more.

Science Fiction
• Science fiction: is a genre that uses plot, setting, characters and themes to demonstrate to the reader that the impossible is possible and gives the reader a diverse reality.
Plot Summary

• Plot Summary: the plot summary of Sci-Fi creates the plot using the structure of orientation, rising tension, climax and finishing with the resolution.

• Setting: the setting in Sci-Fi genre books/novels have quite a broad range of setting from another planet to far in the future, the environment is described in great detail to give the reader an image of the surroundings.
• Characters: the characters of Sci-Fi come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from robots to monsters out of this world. The characters are based on type, appearance, personality, actions and speech, all these characteristics give the reader a detailed image of the character.

• Theme: the theme is Sci-Fi is very different to other genres as it has weird and wonderful types of themes such as threat of technology, human existence, survival, exploring to ways/lands, utopia and dystopia societies. All these themes are the reason that the Sc-Fi genre is so interesting.
Quote to describe main characters: Ann Burden

"I am beginning to worry about something that I know is foolish: how I look. How I am dressed...I looked in the mirror, which I don't often do anymore. I have on blue jeans, but they are mens blue jeans...And a mans work shirt, cotton flannel, and boys' tennis shoes. Not exactly elegant."(page. 17)
Quote to describe main characters: John R. Loomis
"I could not really see what he looks like, because he is dressed, entirely covered, in a sort of greenish plastic-looking suit. it even covers his head, and there is a glass mask for his eyes." (page. 18)
Joseph- brother of Ann
Mr and Mrs Klein- store owners
David- family friend, Faro's(dog) owner
Mother- Ann's mother
Father- Ann's father
Theme: The theme of war is conveyed in the novel through what has happened to the world and only left two people alive. Everywhere has been destroyed except for Burden Valley. This is where the two main characters met. This brought the two main characters close but also made them worst enemies as John Loomis tried to kill Ann Burden. Was it fete or?

I think that Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien is a very interesting and captivating book as the reader can just not stop reading as each page has such a dramatic event or twist.

It fits into the Sci-Fi genre as it is unrealistic but there is a small chance that it could happen. The elements of theme, plot, characters, p.o.v and setting all relate back to Sci-Fi conventions.
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