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Z For Zachariah
Transcript of Z For Zachariah
Conflicts Plot Summary A post-apocolyptic time period Literary Devices 1: Theme: Be careful what you wish for. Author Background: Robert Lesley Conly Title & Uniqueness Born on January 11th, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. Grew up in Amityville, Long Island, New York, and excelled in music, track, swimming, and editing the school newspaper He studied at the Julliard School of Music and took extension courses at Columbia University, and graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A in English Got his start writing for Newsweek Magazine in NYC and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1944, and became a reporter for the Washington Times-Herald. In 1955 he began writing for the National Geographic Magazine In the 1960’s, he developed glaucoma He used a pseudonym because National Geographic didn't approve of their staff writing "outside" work Pen name was Robert C. O’Brien because O’Brien was his mother’s maiden name Sixteen-year-old Ann Burden is living in the valley she has lived in all her life. The world has been destroyed by nuclear warfare and every inch of the outside world is contaminated with radiation, but somehow her valley stayed safe. Her family left one day, telling her to stay home and watch the house, and never returned. One day, Anne is going about her daily routine, and sees a campfire in the distance. Each day, the campfire comes closer. Ann moves into a nearby cave, releases her animals, and watches her house with binoculars. Soon, a man wearing a strange, green, plastic suit appears. He is also pulling a wagon behind him, covered with the same material as the suit. The man soon realizes that the valley is different, and plant and animal life is there. He takes off the suit and shaves his beard, and Ann assumes he is about 35 years old. The man sees that there is life in a creek and therefore assumes all streams are lively. But what he doesn’t know is that two different streams flow through the valley, and he bathes in Burden Creek, a dead river highly contaminated with radiation. He gets very sick with radiation poisoning. Ann decides she has to help him. She goes into his tent and gives him some water. He is dreaming and is yelling about a man named Edward. When he wakes up he tells her that he is sick with radiation poisoning and soon will get much sicker. She takes care of him and starts to work the fields and get the animals back ready and, as he recovers, she learns more about him. One night, when he could almost walk normally again, he comes in her room and tries to rape her. She runs out and goes up to the cave. She lives there and he locks up every possible food source, and when he tries to go back to negotiate, he shoots her in the leg. In the end, after all of this, she steals the suit and leaves. Setting The American Midwest 2: Irony: Ann kinda wonders why Edward stole the suit, when she ends up stealing it also. 3: Theme: Being Cautious. Ann Vs. Mr. Loomis Ann Vs. Self Mr. Loomis Vs. Self Ann Vs. Nature The title for "Z is for Zachariah" came from a bible letter book Ann used to read when she was a little girl. She said since the beginning of it was "A is for Adam,"and he was the first man, then "Z is for Zachariah" must mean he was the last man, like Ann and Mr. Loomis. This book is unique to literature because not many books are written about post-apocalyptic times, and especially not about nuclear warfare.