Thoughts on apocalyptic fiction

It seems like post-apocalyptic films and books are all over the place right now. Just watching the previews for the movie 2012, which came out in November, made me want to cry. I don’t want the world to end in 2012, or anytime soon, really. So why are we so fascinated with it?

When I was assigned Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for my American literature class last semester, I approached it apprehensively. Oh no, I thought. Can I really handle reading this right now? Will it leave me with a feeling of hopelessness, like most of the other post-apocalypse lit out there?

The answer was no. The Road was simply amazing: tense, terrifying, and yes, hopeful. The characters, unnamed throughout, are carrying the torch of humanity through impossible odds, and though they don’t emerge from the road of the title unscathed, they still emerge.

I read the book in a night, and then started loaning it out to everyone I knew. Things may get bad, the world may end, maybe even in 2012, but at least we have good books to get us through. (I’m still not ready to go see the movie, though.)

Written by: Amethyst V.