(2016 premidterm assignment)

Model Student Midterm answers 2016 (Index)

Essay 1: Compare, contrast, and evaluate Narratives of the Future

LITR 4368
Literature of the Future  

Model Assignments


Zach Thomas



Essay 1: Where is Our Humanity?


          When someone thinks of the word, “apocalypse,” they most likely picture the destruction of humanity. Either war or some external and drastic climate change are responsible for the end of everything we hold dear. However, so much fiction is centered around the idea of post-apocalyptic resilience to the “virus” or a meteor collision with the Earth, or so have you. Readers are not satisfied with one cosmic event that destroys life in an instant; they wish for a blade of grass to spring up from the barren soil. In other words, we desire hope in seemingly impossible scenarios.


          For the Revelation given to John, we read of the destruction of the world by Satan (Dragon) and eventually, God himself. God brings down fire from heaven to cleanse the Earth for the second time of all sin and the perverseness of those who do not believe in him. The dragon is first seen by hurtling stars down at Earth with his mighty tail. But this process was not an end-all situation. Revelation says that God will use this fire to purify the present world we live in, in order to create a new heavens and a new Earth. This is a very drastic and terrifying apocalypse described by John, but it eventually gives way to a very beautiful picture of the future as the Earth is evolving into what God intended it to be.


          Victoria Webb analyzes the fact that, “Evolutionary driven narratives assert that while time is always moving forward, we may change in a way that progresses us, or in way that declines us.” I agree with this statement because time is neither a foe, nor an ally. Humans accept change as progress or decline. We also may interpret that through evolutionary measures are we able to contribute to improvement or de-escalation. For Lauren, her view of humanity was for progress that was spurred on by a unique belief system. Much different from her father’s view of “just stay put and don’t do something risky,” Lauren is pushed out of her home to desire a place that is later named Acorn, by any means necessary. Survival was not the finish line for Lauren, just a platform for the future. She meant to thrive with a community built from her own hands as the result of her efforts.


          Literature devoted to a post-apocalyptic world know that humanity must be tested in order to survive. For many followers of zombie narratives, there are ways to survive that are derived from an innate sense of being. Lauren and John of Revelation go beyond survival in their journeys or story-telling. Essentially these two individuals brought up in our readings are recreating the world in which we live. God purifies the world of sin and creates anew, while Lauren escapes various circles of Hell with the hope of establishing a new community different from the likes of the rest of humanity.