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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: References, etc. (What would happen if a large object hit the Earth?)

What would happen if a large object hit the Earth?

http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q975.html

There are actually some videos on the internet which simulate a large meteor hitting the earth and potential devastation. If you do a search, you should be able to find them. It doesn't appear that the type of devastation from a meteor matches the devastation described in the book even though it would be catastrophic. Many more areas would be totally flooded like tsumami conditions only much worse than can be imagined.

Guess I will leave it up to Oprah to find out? LOL
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LuvReading
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Re: Early Reading: References, etc. (What would happen if a large object hit the Earth?)

It seems to me that he (the man) knew it was coming and sort of expected it. Not sure if that gives us any insight as to what it was. In one passage (I'm sorry I do not remember the page numer) he is running a bath and looks out the window and sees a rose-colored glow. The electricity doesn't work. Then he goes ahead and fills up the rest of the tub and his wife asks if he's taking a bath and he says, "no." It seems he was aware something was coming?

I read the Carl Sagan's piece on the effects of nuclear winter and I thought that the landscape description in this book was along the lines of a nuclear war.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: References, etc. (What would happen if a large object hit the Earth?)


LuvReading wrote:
It seems to me that he (the man) knew it was coming and sort of expected it. Not sure if that gives us any insight as to what it was. In one passage (I'm sorry I do not remember the page numer) he is running a bath and looks out the window and sees a rose-colored glow. The electricity doesn't work. Then he goes ahead and fills up the rest of the tub and his wife asks if he's taking a bath and he says, "no." It seems he was aware something was coming?

I read the Carl Sagan's piece on the effects of nuclear winter and I thought that the landscape description in this book was along the lines of a nuclear war.




I am with you on this one. I saw the same quote (page 52 in the paperback version). Watching the meteor videos, you can see that it would not be the same kind of devastation (huge devastation and potential mass extermination...but different) or could it happen in the same way described. Of course, it does not mean that McCarthy had to be scientifically accurate in his description; but to me there were so many other clues that hinted at warfare or issues as the result of decisions/choices made by men. Many quotes including the one about godspoke men who took the world with them. I think if it was a meteor etc. that hit close by or even close enough for a rose colored glow to be seen..more than the electricity would not be working and I doubt if he would have been alive to run the bath.
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Skyler97
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Nuclear Winter.

Read "On the Beach". Nuclear attack of a magnitude to cause the destruction described would have so much radioactive fallout that people would be sick and incapacitated in less than a week. It sounds more like Mt. St. Helens type of destruction. Ash everywhere but no radiation sickness.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



Skyler97 wrote:
Read "On the Beach". Nuclear attack of a magnitude to cause the destruction described would have so much radioactive fallout that people would be sick and incapacitated in less than a week. It sounds more like Mt. St. Helens type of destruction. Ash everywhere but no radiation sickness.




What do we think caused the man's illness? Radioactive fallout or something else?
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Skyler97
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Re: Early Reading: References, etc. (Possible Spoiler)


PaulH wrote:




That's really interesting, Skyler and I agree. I think it was an asteroid strike or something of that nature.

Abraham and Isaac? I would say almost the opposite. The father (Abraham) sacrifices himself/health for the survival of the son (Isaac). Can you elaborate?




Abram had a life of luxury but had no son. No hope for a future to pass his wealth on to. He was chosen by YHWH to carry on his name and was given the promise to have a son from his wife Sarai who would become a great nation in the land that he would be given. Abram became a wanderer like the father. He did not trust the strangers he met in his wanderings and did many unethical things. When he finally had a son by Sarai/Sarah he betrayed his son by the maid Hagar so that Isaac could receive the whole inheritance. His entire life was devoted to his son of the promise which is why he was tested by YHWH with the sacrifice of his son.
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Skyler97
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



PaulH wrote:


Skyler97 wrote:
Read "On the Beach". Nuclear attack of a magnitude to cause the destruction described would have so much radioactive fallout that people would be sick and incapacitated in less than a week. It sounds more like Mt. St. Helens type of destruction. Ash everywhere but no radiation sickness.




What do we think caused the man's illness? Radioactive fallout or something else?




I would say something else. If he had radiation sickness he would not be able to get very far. I'd say some kind of food poisoning or malabsorbtion syndrome
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bentley
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Re: Nuclear Winter.


Skyler97 wrote:
Read "On the Beach". Nuclear attack of a magnitude to cause the destruction described would have so much radioactive fallout that people would be sick and incapacitated in less than a week. It sounds more like Mt. St. Helens type of destruction. Ash everywhere but no radiation sickness.




With all due respect, I think Carl Sagan's Nuclear Winter describes aptly what would transpire. I am not so sure that On the Beach was scripted with a background of scientific expertise and/or scientists. Some would be dead, some incapacitated and some not so incapacitated for awhile or a longer period of time. Even the Japanese bomb that the US dropped had a similar affect with not everybody dying outright (although many did in the immediate vicinity) and not everybody being incapacitated in less than a week. I think that Sagan describes in part the problems that the father is experiencing and this is in part more than likely the effects of radiation sickness. Sorry to disagree.
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bentley
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Re: Radiation Sickness

Regarding Radiation Sickness

http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000026.htm

http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000026sym.htm

Mayo Clinic:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/radiation-sickness/DS00432

It is fairly clear that the father and others were suffering from radiation sickness. Radiation sickness can become chronic and last over a period of time. And you can come into contact with water, etc that had become radioactive and then become radioactive yourself.

There are many sites which give some details regarding the effects of radiation even including effects to the eyes (considering the wife's problem). How long was she blind and was it the result of the catastrophe. It is fun discussing this book with all of the nuances..even though the subject matter shakes the foundation of your soul and makes you really out of sorts.
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LuvReading
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



bentley wrote:

Skyler97 wrote:
Read "On the Beach". Nuclear attack of a magnitude to cause the destruction described would have so much radioactive fallout that people would be sick and incapacitated in less than a week. It sounds more like Mt. St. Helens type of destruction. Ash everywhere but no radiation sickness.




With all due respect, I think Carl Sagan's Nuclear Winter describes aptly what would transpire. I am not so sure that On the Beach was scripted with a background of scientific expertise and/or scientists. Some would be dead, some incapacitated and some not so incapacitated for awhile or a longer period of time. Even the Japanese bomb that the US dropped had a similar affect with not everybody dying outright (although many did in the immediate vicinity) and not everybody being incapacitated in less than a week. I think that Sagan describes in part the problems that the father is experiencing and this is in part more than likely the effects of radiation sickness. Sorry to disagree.




I agree. Also, the nuclear blast could have happened many miles away, maybe even on the west coast, which could result in nuclear winter, but not the immediate effects of ground zero. If there were many bombs that went off in various areas, those outside of those areas would be affected, but not as badly.
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Mariposa
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Re: Nuclear Winter.

I think that McCarthy left it intentionally ambiguous. When I read though I felt it was the result of nuclear warfare. Why were some people using masks? gas masks? What made the air difficult to breathe?

Much of the devastation was caused by the catastrophe itself but some of it was definitely caused by man after the catastrophe. To me the way people treated eachother after the catastrophe was equally horrible because instead of banding together to survive, they were killing eachother in order to survive.

And what kind of survival is that? A soulless survival where life has no meaning left...


Lizabeth
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Erato
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Re: Nuclear Winter.

I am in the camp of this is about the aftermath of our own doing and not a natural disaster.

The father recalls the night as flashes of distant light in the sky and a series of
dull but perceptible concussions, with the clock stopping at 1:17 precisely. (More on the use of this specific time later)

A stopped clock is a clear nuclear image.

Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb museums display their own heat stopped clocks, which stopped at the moment the bombs went off.

And there's also the famous "Doomsday Clock" that the scientists use to measure of risk of impending nuclear war.

These humans have chosen to survive by unthinkable tactics like cannibalism. They did not choose to band together with their fellow humans. They have sacrificed their humanity. They are not sick from radiation, IMO.

Other images in the novel suggest the aftermath of war and a war meshes well with the theme of the loss of human values that is woven throughout the story.
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bentley
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



Erato wrote:
I am in the camp of this is about the aftermath of our own doing and not a natural disaster.

The father recalls the night as flashes of distant light in the sky and a series of
dull but perceptible concussions, with the clock stopping at 1:17 precisely. (More on the use of this specific time later)

A stopped clock is a clear nuclear image.

Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb museums display their own heat stopped clocks, which stopped at the moment the bombs went off.

And there's also the famous "Doomsday Clock" that the scientists use to measure of risk of impending nuclear war.

These humans have chosen to survive by unthinkable tactics like cannibalism. They did not choose to band together with their fellow humans. They have sacrificed their humanity. They are not sick from radiation, IMO.

Other images in the novel suggest the aftermath of war and a war meshes well with the theme of the loss of human values that is woven throughout the story.




Erato,

I agree with most of what you have said..but I do respectfully disagee about the radiation sickness. There were many clues regarding the effects of radiation sickness in the novel including the father, etc. Many died of radiation sickness it is obvious, although a few may not show the signs as yet (all which is normal). I did post some articles on radiation sickness and its effects as well as on nuclear winter which I think is a point of agreement.
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Skyler97
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Re: Nuclear Winter.


bentley wrote:



With all due respect, I think Carl Sagan's Nuclear Winter describes aptly what would transpire. I am not so sure that On the Beach was scripted with a background of scientific expertise and/or scientists. Some would be dead, some incapacitated and some not so incapacitated for awhile or a longer period of time. Even the Japanese bomb that the US dropped had a similar affect with not everybody dying outright (although many did in the immediate vicinity) and not everybody being incapacitated in less than a week. I think that Sagan describes in part the problems that the father is experiencing and this is in part more than likely the effects of radiation sickness. Sorry to disagree.




No need to be sorry.

I still subscribe to the asteroid strike or Vulcanic action theory. Either of these would push material so far into the stratospere that particles would still be falling for hundreds of years. I believe the Father has a condition similar to Black Lung or Asbestosis. His lungs have become filled with particles and have started to Calcify.

Sagan's Nuclear Winter theory does have some flaws. It assumes a limited nuclear exchange to be as dangerous as an allout MAD War. If you remember Sagan also predicted in 1991 that if Saddam Hussein burned the Kuwaiti Oil Fields, it would cause Nuclear Winter. Hussein did burn the oil fields but the effects were far less than predicted.
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bentley
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



Skyler97 wrote:

bentley wrote:



With all due respect, I think Carl Sagan's Nuclear Winter describes aptly what would transpire. I am not so sure that On the Beach was scripted with a background of scientific expertise and/or scientists. Some would be dead, some incapacitated and some not so incapacitated for awhile or a longer period of time. Even the Japanese bomb that the US dropped had a similar affect with not everybody dying outright (although many did in the immediate vicinity) and not everybody being incapacitated in less than a week. I think that Sagan describes in part the problems that the father is experiencing and this is in part more than likely the effects of radiation sickness. Sorry to disagree.




No need to be sorry.

I still subscribe to the asteroid strike or Vulcanic action theory. Either of these would push material so far into the stratospere that particles would still be falling for hundreds of years. I believe the Father has a condition similar to Black Lung or Asbestosis. His lungs have become filled with particles and have started to Calcify.

Sagan's Nuclear Winter theory does have some flaws. It assumes a limited nuclear exchange to be as dangerous as an allout MAD War. If you remember Sagan also predicted in 1991 that if Saddam Hussein burned the Kuwaiti Oil Fields, it would cause Nuclear Winter. Hussein did burn the oil fields but the effects were far less than predicted.





Sagan's example was not the only example I posted nor the only examples out there to review. In reviewing the scientific analysis of an asteroid strike, I do not think the science fits with the outcome described in the way it is depicted. Sorry once again but your interpretation is great.
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Mariposa
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Re: Nuclear Winter.

I believe we are talking about a nuclear winter, not something that happened because of a malfunctioning of nature. And my reasoning is not based on their physical reactions or descriptions of setting. It is based on the theme of the book.

This is about man's inhumanity to man and about how seeds can grow from ashes. It is about how even when man has regressed to his most animalistic state, there is the possibility of rebirth. So it makes sense to me that the cause of this devastation is the same soullessness that we see throughout the novel. There is a nuclear winter outside and inside the characters. That is why the boy is so important.

Lizabeth
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Fozzie
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Re: Man's Illness



Skyler97 wrote:

I believe the Father has a condition similar to Black Lung or Asbestosis. His lungs have become filled with particles and have started to Calcify.





I agree with this diagnosis.

I don't know what caused the catastrophe, and while it would be interesting to know, I think the focus of the book is on the effects on mankind and his behavior toward his fellow man after such a catastrophe.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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sharpd0307
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Re: Man's Illness



Fozzie wrote:


Skyler97 wrote:

I believe the Father has a condition similar to Black Lung or Asbestosis. His lungs have become filled with particles and have started to Calcify.





I agree with this diagnosis.

I don't know what caused the catastrophe, and while it would be interesting to know, I think the focus of the book is on the effects on mankind and his behavior toward his fellow man after such a catastrophe.




I agree too! I'm a little disappointed at the lengths to which people seem to be going to explain the cause of this catastrophe, when it is certainly not a critical part of the novel. Don't get me wrong, the setting IS important, but the cause of the setting (in my humble opinion) is not. I think the struggle to remain "good" and continue their greatest gift of all - LIFE - amongst all of the devasation and evils (cannibalism, starvation, psychological effects, etc.) is the most important aspect of this book. Will/does "good" triumph over "evil" in this new world?

As far as the father's condition goes, the biggest thing that I've noticed (unless I've missed something and I'm only half way through the novel) is his fatigue and coughing spasms. Couldn't this just be due to his starving, sleeping outside nightly in the winter, lack of water and, oh yeah, breathing in ash from the air? I don't think many us of would feel too great if we suffered that either. Please let me know if I've missed more detail.

David
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PaulFrancis
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Re: Man's Illness

I agree too! I'm a little disappointed at the lengths to which people seem to be going to explain the cause of this catastrophe, when it is certainly not a critical part of the novel. Don't get me wrong, the setting IS important, but the cause of the setting (in my humble opinion) is not. I think the struggle to remain "good" and continue their greatest gift of all - LIFE - amongst all of the devasation and evils (cannibalism, starvation, psychological effects, etc.) is the most important aspect of this book. Will/does "good" triumph over "evil" in this new world?

As far as the father's condition goes, the biggest thing that I've noticed (unless I've missed something and I'm only half way through the novel) is his fatigue and coughing spasms. Couldn't this just be due to his starving, sleeping outside nightly in the winter, lack of water and, oh yeah, breathing in ash from the air? I don't think many us of would feel too great if we suffered that either. Please let me know if I've missed more detail.

David




David,
I have to agree with you on most accounts. The action of this novel takes place so far into the catastrophe that we shouldn't focus on that. Certainly the harsh living conditions and air quality could cause the fathers stress and coughing. And, that the story is largely about the gift of life.

I think that if the cause of the catastrophe were revealed it might make us think differently about our hope for the survivors in this book as we read. Who is the least benevolent foe? Fellow man (nuclear war) or nature (asteroids).

Paul
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe



TammieCorcoran wrote: I personally think it was probably a nuclear bomb because of the description of the nuclear winter conditions throughout the beginning of the book.

Tammie




I tend to agree with you because it also brings into the picture the responsibility humanity has.
ziki
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