Z for Zachariah

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" Z for Zachariah  is the title of the science fiction novel that I have been studying. It was written by Robert O' Brien which was first published in 1973 and was written during the "Cold War , wrote it. The plot of the novel is basically about isolation and the struggle to survive not directly a nuclear war but the after effects.

The main character in the novel is Ann Burden, from Burden Valley, in the United States of America. A nuclear war has left Ann all alone, as her complete family have been killed by the disaster: "When I look beyond I see that all the trees are dead, and there is never a sign of anything moving. I don't go out there.  The valley however has been untouched by the devastation. Ann is entrapped, as everything beyond the circumference of Burden is unproductive of life. She leads a simple life-style. Cleverly using nature to survive. She shuts herself off from the past, and looks forward to the future: "I am hopeful to be an English teacher.  I believe that Ann is a very optimistic person who never gives up on hope.

Her farm upbringing has equipped her with a great deal of common sense, practicality and resourcefulness. Ann can shoot, cook and drive a tractor, as well as fish and do agricultural work. This helping her to make life on her own a lot less of a struggle and showing us that she has good survival skills. This shows us that she is independent and well organised.

A stranger arrives one day in a plastic suit and Ann watches him explore the valley from the cave that she is observing him from. Ann has mixed feelings: "I am both exited and afraid.  She longs for companionship but she's also a very cautious individual: "I want to see who it is before I show myself.  She carefully watches his every move: "Suppose he was crazy ¦ A murderer? What would I do?

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