Nemesis Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Nemesis.
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Pestilence

The polio epidemic of 1944 is one of the main driving forces of the novel’s plot and conflicts, and the narrative utilizes the epidemic as a basis for exploring questions of tragedy, uncertainty, and personal outlook. One of the defining characteristics of polio in the narrative’s historical context is its incurability. The polio vaccine was not invented until the year 1955, and so in the novel’s setting of 1944, there is no effective way to cure, treat, or prevent the disease. Therefore, when the summer polio outbreak of 1944 develops into an epidemic, people experience widespread fear and panic. The novel examines this danger and uncertainty to examine the wide range of human responses to danger and uncertainty. Come characters remain generally calm while other spiral into panic, anger, and even suspicion.

Bucky Cantor is the main subject with regards to examining human responses of uncertainty (as...

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This section contains 2,422 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nemesis Study Guide
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