On the Beach: of Human Nature and Raditation

Sour 1
Gwendolyn Sour
Mrs. Amy Warren
Honors English 10
1 October 2013

Of Human Nature and Radiation
Quite a few social and political events influenced Nevil Shute Norway to write the satire that is On the Beach.   Having been involved in the last few months of World War I, he went on to college and finally developed his own company that created aviation techniques for warfare.   Once World War II started, he helped work on a weapons project for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.   From the mid twenties and up until his death in the sixties he wrote novels, On the Beach being one of them. Shute had experienced all sides of warfare.   It is safe to say that he wrote the novel to display his opinions on how different natured people would react to a nuclear apocalypse.   His portrayals of people are stereotypically accurate in those he included in On the Beach.
From those he included he used certain archetypes such as, the dreamer, the realist and so on.   The archetypes he used for his male characters tended to be more accurate than his female ones - the harlot and the unstable woman being the only two he uses.   Dwight Towers is an example of the dreamer.   He lives strongly in denial throughout the novel and until the moment he dies.   Dwight believes that his family members are still alive.   He, in passing, mentions that he wants to get his daughter a pogo stick and that he must remain faithful to his wife when it is likely that they are dead.   Shute’s representation
Sour 2
Peter Holmes happens to be ‘The Enabler’.   Peter cares deeply for his wife, Mary, and how horribly she reacts to the events of On the Beach.   Peter tries to be realistic with Mary at multiple points throughout the story. He brings up the fact, once radiation sickness sets in, they might have to euthanize their daughter so she doesn’t have to suffer.   Mary loses it at the mention of this and starts to appease her in her delusional state.   Peter is more realistic and strong enough to face...