On the Beach Essay

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In the essay below, Smith discusses how Shute came to write On the Beach, noting the author's progress from optimism to pessimism and back again before, during, and after the novel's writing.

Saturday, November 6th. The blast at Am-chitka had gone off six hours before, generating lord only knows what Shockwaves in the Pacific, not to mention concerned comments on the eleven o'clock news The news ended, and the first of the late movies began: Stanley Kramer's On the Beach, based upon Nevil Shute's novel.

An epiphany! That movie of all movies on that night of all nights. The first important film treatment of nuclear holocaust, it premiered all around the world just thirteen years ago last November. I sat through it to the bitter end—everyone dead and a banner flying across the screen THERE'S STILL TIME, BROTHER.

Thirteen years. And we're still playing with our...

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This section contains 2,169 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On the Beach Study Guide
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On the Beach from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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