Alas Babylon

Alas Babylon: Essay Q&A

1. Describe the character of Randy. How does he change after the attacks? Given his character and experience, does he seem qualified to act as leader of Fort Repose? What does he do to restore order to the town? At the outset of the novel, Randy is an amiable but lazy playboy bachelor. Trained as …

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Alas Babylon: Top Ten Quotes

“Alas, Babylon.”(Chapter 1, p. 19) These are the final, cryptic words of Mark Bragg’s telegram to his brother Randy, warning of impending nuclear war. The phrase “Alas, Babylon” came from the firebrand sermons of Preacher Henry, which Mark and Randy heard as boys. In the Bible, Babylon was a city of sin, destroyed by God. …

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Alas Babylon: Theme Analysis

Importance of Preparation Pat Frank wrote Alas, Babylon as a warning of what could happen if the United States suffered a nuclear attack. He demonstrates in the novel how unprepared the nation is for such an attack. For instance, Bubba Offenhaus, county Deputy Director of Civil Defense, is given pamphlets about the dangers of radiation, …

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Alas Babylon: Chapters 11-13

Chapter 11Lib and Randy are married by Reverend Henry on Easter Sunday in the Braggs’ parlor. There is a slight problem with the legality of the wedding, as the courthouses are no longer operating, and no marriage license can be issued. Randy solves the problem by rewriting the law. He designates Florence and Alice to …

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Alas Babylon: Chapters 9-10

Chapter 9It is vital that Porky Logan be buried immediately, along with his deadly watches and jewelry, in a lead-lined coffin to prevent contamination. Randy takes charge of the operation, brandishing a gun to secure volunteer help. He strongarms Bubba Offenhaus, the town undertaker and Deputy Director of Civil Defense, into providing the coffin and …

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Alas Babylon: Chapters 7-8

Chapter 7The loss of electricity creates huge problems for Fort Repose, and there is no hope of recovering power, since the power plants themselves are gone. Without electric pumps, there is no water. Suddenly, Randy remembers the Henrys’ artesian well. The water smells sulphuric, but it is safe to drink. With the help of the …

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Alas Babylon: Chapters 5-6

Chapter 5Randy is awakened by what he thinks is an earthquake, but is actually two massive nuclear explosions. One warhead destroys the SAC base at Homestead in Florida and the second obliterates Miami’s International Airport. Randy, Helen, and the children hurry out onto the porch in time to see the glow in the sky which …

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