Getting High On Albertine

“The Albertine Notes” was captivating, yet at times hard to follow. Like any nonlinear narrative, plot points get confusing because we aren’t sure what’s happening now, what’s a memory, and what’s a prophesy. I felt like I too was on Albertine. Though not as a “geek” with perfect memory, but rather a forgetter, constantly trying to remind myself that past, present, and future are one in the same, and not three separate entities as we are familiar with in the linear sense. This sort of timelessness, as we all now know, is inherently apocalyptic. Continue reading

The Road That Never Ends

The end of The Road shows a true transformation not only of the characters, but also of the world in which they live. Though everything in this world is physically the same as when the story started, something significantly changes about our perception of it (or at least my perception of it). This new perception paints the same post-apocalyptic world in a slightly warmer and more humane way, thus creating a glimmer of hope for mankind, as we often see at the end of so many other apocalyptic tales. Continue reading

On The [Post-Apocalyptic] Road Again

When the world we know is gone, what else is there to live for? This is a question that has been tirelessly touched upon in this class in relation to the other stories we’ve read/seen so far. For the other stories, there has always been a glimmer of hope for a better future, whether it is through women’s fertility, heavenly immortality, or even peace on Earth. For McCarthy’s The Road, I found myself troubled with the fact that I couldn’t initially find a clear reason for the man’s desperate want to survive. Continue reading

Premeditated Apocalyptic Death

In the second half of The Turner Diaries, Earl is reborn. After his initiation into the Order and subsequent capture by the System, he changes into a less sympathetic, more militant, even more dedicated member of the Organization. As his apprehensions about death and killing disappear, the dualism between supposed good and evil becomes even more defined in his mind. He becomes willing to do just about anything to help the Order and the Organization prevail. Continue reading

Trigger-happy Humans

The Turner Diaries offers a unique perspective in comparison to the other apocalyptic stories we’ve read/watched thus far. Written as several journal entries, it brings us directly into the mind of a fundamentalist, Earl, who serves as our only biased source of information. This piece of historical fiction seems much like what a delusional, racist, paranoid fundamentalist would have imagined would result from the Civil Rights Movement – an apocalypse. Continue reading

Gender Roles: Ambiguous and Traditional

While watching Children of Men, Apocalypto, and 28 Days Later, I was drawn to the role that women played in each of the post-apocalyptic scenarios. I first questioned in Children of Men why the women were made infertile and the men were not. In Apocalypto, I compared Seven to Kee from Children of Men, both of whom offered hope from their pregnancies. In 28 Days Later, Selena is an independent survivor who, at first, seems like more of the traditional hero-type than anyone else. As Professor Quinby points out her essay, these empowered female characters completely contrast the roles of women in traditional apocalyptic myth and create a certain ambiguity in the distinction between masculine and feminine in terms of the traditional romance (2). However, though these gender roles are blurred during ensuing apocalyptic chaos, the hope of salvation does not seem to fully arise until traditional gender roles are reassigned. Continue reading

Hopelessly Hopeful for an Undetermined Future

As I was finishing the last chapter of Watchmen on Saturday morning, my doorbell rang. How terribly coincidental it was to see two members of a local Baptist church on my doorstep, hands out-stretched to give me a pamphlet that read, “The Most IMPORTANT Thing You Must Consider… Where Will You Spend All Eternity?” What hilariously magnificent timing! Just then, a fleeting thought crossed my mind- was this a sign from God? It got me thinking how Alan Moore employs a generally “godless apocalypse” (to use Kirsch’s phrasing) in his doomsday graphic novel, but creates some rather godlike characters. Rosen discusses this in her essay, mentioning three characters that act as apocalyptic gods. For this post however, I would like to stick to the comparison of just two of those characters and their relation to apocalyptic time and predestination: Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) and Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias). Continue reading

Killing Time

As I turned to the last page of Glorious Appearing, I let out a sigh of relief that it was finally over. But lo and behold, the one-lined epilogue stated otherwise. After four hundred pages of waiting to read about a perfect ending to the world and the destruction of evil, the epilogue leaves us waiting again for another ending to come. Christ came, punished the sinners, and all seemed well, “But after these things [Satan] must be released for a little while” (399). All the protagonists just spent seven years waiting for this moment to be reunited in a perfect society under the kingdom of Jesus. And yet Rayford’s last statement was “We’ve only got a thousand years” (398). Must they always anticipate an end? Continue reading

Was the Swastika the WWII Era Mark of the Beast?

Over the past couple weeks we’ve alluded to Hitler and the Holocaust a few times. With this week’s reading, it was really all I could think about. Hitler is directly analogous to Carpathia who, in Glorious Appearing and the rest of the Left Behind series, is the Antichrist. Then in Strozier’s essays, the description of how the fundamentalist mindset exhibits violent potentials seems to resonate with Hitler’s actions towards the Jews in the Holocaust. Because of our fixation with the end of times and our curiosity in psychological reasoning, we are left to analyze his actions from a purely apocalyptic standpoint. Continue reading

Interpreting Revelation

For two thousand years, people have attempted to uncover the true meaning behind the Book of Revelation. Yet can there really be just one “true” meaning that takes precedence over anything else? In A History of the End of The World, Jonathan Kirsch reviews several dozen different interpretations of Revelation that each have their own followers and critics. These interpretations seem to change as the centuries progress and often reflect upon societal conflicts. When all we have left to go on is a piece of literature (if some even dare to call the Book of Revelation literature), we must accept that each reader creates his or her own interpretation, which becomes their own “true” meaning. Continue reading