Z for Zachariah Seminar

Discuss the use of the diary form in Z for Zachariah. Why is it used and for what effects?Z for Zachariah

How does the landscape in this text differ from those in the other texts in the module? Are Ann and Loomis’ relationships with it different to each others and from those we have seen throughout the module?

Do you think this text embodies a lack of confidence in the ability of adults to know best how to ethically inform children’s future lives? Are adults flawed? Is the young adult? Do you think the portrayal of the young adult is idealistic? Is she morally superior? Is there are a questioning of aetonormativity (the power and authority of adult over child)?

What are the socio-political anxieties in this text?

What destructive tendencies in human behaviour are being critiqued in Z for Zachariah?

Do you think the idea of the hero is questioned in this text? Does Loomis fulfil Ann’s fantasies of him being her hero to help her start a new society?

What is Ann’s utopian vision in Z for Zachariah?

What do you make of the descent to aggression and violence by both Ann and Loomis in the text? Is it a necessary evil for the young adult? How does this text fit with the Darwinist ideas of survival of the fittest?

Do you agree with Mendleson’s argument that “Science fiction is less a genre than a mode. It is a way of writing about things, events, and people, rather than a description of which things, events, and people should be written about.”

Consider Mendlesohn’s statement: “Where SF for adults frequently deploys protagonists without family, and has long been considered the fiction of those who eschew the idea that literature is about inter-personal relationships, modern SF for children and young adults frequently uses the family as either context or motivation” (2004). If any, what context and motivation are provided by the family in Z for Zachariah ?

Do you think the valley setting is deployed to allow the exploration of society or the individual? Do you see a difference between this and the other texts we have studied?

What role does hope play in the text? Who does hope lie with?

Does the Romantic conception of childhood figure in this text anywhere?

How do biblical references and the religious faith of the protagonist function in this text?


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