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What Makes Ann A Survivor? - Z for Zachariah By Robert C O'Brian

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Introduction

What Makes Ann A Survivor? By Melissa Bannon "Z For Zachariah" by Robert C. O'Brien, is an exciting and powerful novel. I am going to discuss what makes the main character Ann a survivor by conveying some of her many qualities, which she reveals to us in her diary. She shows practical knowledge, capability and cautious behaviour. Ann Burden is a sixteen-year-old girl who is left to fend for herself after her hometown is destroyed as a result of a nuclear explosion. She has lived alone for a year and her initial reaction to new life, Loomis, arriving in the valley is joy and excitement. But she soon realises what he is really like and her reaction is altered to fear and instinct to survive. In the story, Ann is portrayed as a wise girl. She has a lot of practical knowledge, which in the end, is the key to her survival. Simple things like taking care of the farm when she is left alone and letting Loomis drink only in little amounts when he is sick, "Not any more, it will make you sick again," give me a positive message that she is a very flexible character. ...read more.

Middle

Ann may be selfless, caring and forgiving, but she can be too forgiving a lot of the time. Her acts are completely selfless. When Loomis was ill in the tent, she would set her alarm at two-hour intervals to give him water and check how he was. Every morning she would set her alarm to start working. She worked uncomplainingly around the farm: "I ploughed, harrowed and then planted the rows of beets" She works to her body's limit, which I admire as, if she did not, who else would? Cooking fresh and nourishing meals is very important for both Ann and Loomis. Each day she prepares meals. It is very important that Ann is a very able individual, as if she could not do simple things like cook, work the farm and have some medical knowledge, both Ann and Loomis would not have lasted more than a few weeks. It is valuable to see people from their good points, but sometimes being too optimistic is a disadvantage. She is forever making allowances for Loomis, which does put her safety at risk. Ann offered to play a little piano for Loomis, as he "hadn't heard music for over a year." ...read more.

Conclusion

She found out he is not married. Knowing this, she begins to plan starting a family in the future to continue the human race. Loomis sees this as a "colony," as though it has to be done, but Ann sees it as a loving relationship with children as she had only had a couple of real "dates" before. At only sixteen, Ann is very inexperienced with men and is vulnerable, even more with Loomis as he may be the only male left, so when he makes a "pass" at her, she hits him across the head as a reflex. Loomis is not happy with this and he emotionally abuses her into thinking she was to blame. I feel that, as Ann has so many survival skills already, she must have been brought up to be independent and resourceful. For someone so young, this is an advantage. Had she not had these skills, she may not have coped so well as she would have had to learn basic survival skills alone for the chance to stay alive. Emotionally, Ann is also mature and was able to cope with the isolation and loneliness of being solitary. Having these basic skills and keeping a diary throughout the story, Ann was able to survive through difficult situations, emotionally and physically. ...read more.

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