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Alas, Babylon: Chapter 7
Transcript of Alas, Babylon: Chapter 7
Chapter Plot Significance
By: Nina Joseph and William Mallett
Alas, Babylon By: Pat Frank Chapter 7
Questions for Consideration
He is very much the leader of this book, or the hero of the story. In this chapter, Randy helps by getting the Artesian water, and piping it into the house. He also gets salt for the meat. He really steps up as a leader, by getting supplies for his "followers" or friends and family.
Dan is a doctor, and like any doctor, in time of crisis he likes to help as many people as possible. He also has lots of bravery, because when his clinic got robbed by addicts, he remained calm and collected.
In this chapter, Helen shows a more motherly and house wife side. She worries about the meat, and decides to salt it, to preserve the meat. She also mourns in this chapter, for her husband, who has very little chance of survival. She still remains a motherly figure for her son and daughter.
Elizabeth (Lib) McGovern...
In this chapter, Lib loses her mother due to her lack of insulin. Lib shows a more cooperative side, when she easily agrees to go live in the same house as Helen, even though they don't like each other. She also was a little kinder towards Helen, when Helen mourned for Mark. Last, she convinces her father to live in the Bragg house.
Lack of Water...
Since the war has begun, they had very limited amount of water. They could only flush the toilet two times a day, and the water in the bathtub was dwindling. This problem was quickly solved when Randy got the idea to pipe the Artesian water, which was unlimited, into the their home. They get the Artesian water from the grove, which the Henry's use every day.
They find out the entire state of Florida is a Contaminated Zone, or somewhere that has a lot of radiation and is very dangerous zone to enter. They also find out that Omaha, is a contaminated zone, which basically loses all hope for Mark Bragg's survival.
Loss of Medical Supply...
Dan Gunn's entire clinic gets robbed by a bunch of drug addicts. Most of his medical supply is gone and Dan has pretty much nothing to work with. Dan's clinic is shut down and he moves into Randy's house.
Helen realizes the meat is going to go bad in the next twenty four hours. That is a very big deal, because the meat is their main source of food. This problem is solved when Randy gets salt to preserve the meat.
"In times of crisis, always remain calm."
"You have to let things go if you want to move on with your life."
"The simplest things can be of great value in the future."
This theme refers to when Dan Gunn's clinic got robbed. In stead of freaking out he remained calm throughout the situation, and everything was not as bad as it seemed.
This theme refers to Lib and Bill moving on from Lavania's death. In time of war, you cannot dwell on the death of others, rather you should focus more on how to survive the tough times.
This theme refers to the little things like salt, Artesian water, and gas. Before the war, they didn't really think much of the importance of these small things. After the war, they realized how much little things can make a huge difference.
Announcement Regarding Radiation...
Radiation is very significant part in this chapter. It foreshadows that Mark will not return home and it also foreshadows that people will be killed by the Radiation in upcoming chapters. It affects the plot of the story because it brings up another obstacle for the characters.
Lack of Supplies...
In this chapter, your really see the characters struggle with the lack of supplies like water, gas, electricity, and medicine. This affects the plot of the story because it foreshadows that it will only get more difficult.
Moving into the River Road House...
In this chapter, a lot of major characters move into the house on River Road. Characters like Lib and Bill McGovern, and Dan Gunn move in. This affects the plot because it shows that cooperation is the key for their survival in this war.
Chapter 7 takes place in Fort Repose, Florida, which is important for several reasons. Because it is a small town there are not as many supplies as could be found in a larger town or in a city. This puts the residents of Fort Repose at a disadvantage. To get many of the supplies that they need, they have to drive outside of town using what precious fuel they have. This creates tension within the story. It is only a matter of time before they run out of gas, and then any number of things could go wrong as the towns resources dwindle. This isolation makes it much more important for the residents of Fort Repose to gain independence and create a new society.
Another issue with this location is that it is located in Florida, which is revealed to be quarantined in the chapter. Even though Fort Repose has not been radiated the high amounts of nukes that hit Florida (because of its abundance of military bases) no one is allowed to exit the state.
There are some upsides to this location however. Namely it is close to a large reserve of fresh water. Randy, Malachai and Two-Tone work to redirect it to all the houses in the town. This would effectively eliminate concerns about water if successful.
Another advantage is that, due to the towns small size it is much easier to get people to band together and follow the lead of a single person or group. This helps keep chaos down and makes the town more productive. It makes it much easier to get to a point where the town can be self sustaining.
Chapter 7 of Alas Babylon happens to start out with its most memorable quote, ”When nuclear fireballs crisped Orlando and the power plants serving Timucuan County, refrigeration stopped, along with electric cooking. The oil furnaces, sparked by electricity, died. All radios were useless unless battery powered or in automobiles.” These sentences powerfully introduce the idea of the lack of electricity that the characters now face. The novel then goes on to list another 16 items that no longer work, including roasters and vibrating chairs. This list can have one of two effects. It can truly punch a reader in the gut with just how much has been changed, or it can dampen the previous sentences with a feeling of “I get it already.” Personally I feel the latter way especially when electric blankets are listed as one of the items that is lost, which shouldn’t matter considering that they are in Florida. Despite this the quote is still vivid and an interesting and unique way to establish power loss.
Early in the chapter Randy tells Ben Franklin that as soon as a school opens in one of the surrounding towns he will have to go even if he has to walk there. Would it be better for Ben to go to school or help around at Fort Repose?
Randy is adamant that the world will become survival of the fittest, but a large part of the episode is devoted to people working together. Do you think it is better to work together or alone?
Do you think that the gas Randy used to get salt from town was worth a couple more days of meat?
If you were Randy would you help out with things like rerouting the water, or would you try and briefly touch on as many issues as possible?
If you were in charge of Fort Repose would you use more efficient cars or cars that could hold larger loads, while going out of town to gather supplies?
Randy does not feel remorse for Lavinia McGovern when she dies. Do you think that this coldness is a positive or a negative trait for a leader to have?
Does Randy tell Peyton or Ben that they have to go to school once a new one opens?
Randy gets ___ and ___ to help him redirect the artesian water.
What does Randy get to preserve the last of the meat?
Livinia McGovern dies due to a lack of ___.
Why do Randy and Helen throw a party?
How does Dan react to the damage done in the hospital?
True or False. Most of Florida is quarantined.
Both the meat and the insulin go bad from lack of ___.
A lot of the characters move into the house on ___ ___.
Why does Helen get upset when she finds out Omaha is a contaminated zone?
2. Malachai and Two-Tone.
5. To use up the last of the meat.
7. False. All of Florida is quarantined.
9. River Road.
10. She loses all hope for Mark's survival.
Chapter 7 is largely a straightforward descriptive chapter, but goes deeply into metaphors when Randy discusses survival of the fittest with Lib. Randy explains that similar to how Lib's dog eats her fish people will have to fend for themselves in order to survive. The catfish is one of the few that survived the dog, which, Randy says, is because the catfish is strong enough to stand up to the dog.
In this chapter, mostly all the major characters move into the Bragg House. This shows all of them are trying to work together to survive these tough times.
Summary (Key Points)...
*Getting the water.
*Dan Gunn's office broken into.
*Salt for the meat.
*Lavania McGovern dies.
*Lib, Bill, and Dan move into the River road house.
*Ben Franklin and Peyton Bragg
*Two-Tone, Malachai,and all the Henry's
*Bill and Lavania McGovern