On the Beach Essay

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Shute finished his novel in late 1956 In November, 1959, the month he saw Kramer's film, he began the story of a miraculous birth in the Australian wilderness, an epiphany witnessed by "three wise men" bearing a series of gifts that sound like a return to the wishful thinking that preceded the writing of On the Beach: the gifts of oil to Australia through known coal deposits, of water by magnetic distillation, of defense against radioactivity. In other words, self-sufficiency in industry and agriculture combined with protection from the follies of the rest of the world—all sanctified through an implied or explicit Second Coming. He had recovered the optimism that the creation of On the Beach had robbed him of. He never lived to finish the novel, but died two months later while Kramer's film was premiering all around the world. It was almost as though he had...

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This section contains 186 words
(approx. 1 page 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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