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Critical response to 'Z for Zachariah'.

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Introduction

The book I read is 'Z for Zachariah' by Robert C. O'Brien. I enjoyed this book because it contained few but excellent characters and is full of mystery and suspense. 'Z for Zachariah' is about a sixteen-year-old girl, called Ann Burden who thinks she is the only person to survive a nuclear war. However, as her diary entries progress, you learn of a person in a green suit who is pulling what looks like a trailer covered with the same green material as the suit approaching Ann Burden's valley. Later in the diary you find out that the person is a man who had been an industrial chemist before the war, working for the Government designing a suit to protect people in the event of a nuclear explosion. His name is Mr Loomis and he is wearing the only one of these suits. When Mr Loomis finally arrives in the valley, he is amazed by the fact that there is water, which appears to be safe but Mr Loomis makes one severe mistake. When he checks the water for the level of radiation with his Geiger counter he in fact checks the clean water in the stream but then goes on to venture further down the valley, where he finds Ann Burden's home where the polluted Burden Creek is nearby. ...read more.

Middle

Also Ann still helps Mr Loomis after he tried to rape her - she gives him half of everything i.e. eggs, milk and chicken and lets him have the comforts of her home while she moves into the cave. It is obvious that Ann is confused, as she does not know why Mr Loomis is being so horrible to her especially when she has done everything she can to be nice to him and to help him. The last words to describe Ann are strategic and logical; I think these words describe Ann well because when she does not want Mr Loomis to find her she thinks about what he can and cannot see e.g. when she builds a fire she thinks about where and how to build it so Mr Loomis can't see it - she also thinks about what time of the day to light it. The style of 'Z for Zachariah' is in diary form. Throughout the book there were not many figures of speech, however, there were a few similes, here is a quote from the book that describes Ann's dog Faro when he has returned from the dead lands where there is radiation, in it there is a simile "as thin as a skeleton." ...read more.

Conclusion

I also liked the style of the book being in diary form because you didn't have to read the minute by minute accounts of what is happening in the book you only get to read the exciting and more intense parts which would be written in a diary. The thing that made the book a little boring was the fact that there weren't many different figures of speech. The length I though was too long, some parts of the book seemed to be dragged out to give it a longer length, for example when Mr Loomis is sick the book got a little boring because in the diary entries you really were only told what Ann had did that day, there wasn't enough character interaction. One thing that I thought ruined the book was the ending, I thought it was exciting when you were told that there was hope that there could be other people still living and you wanted to keep reading and know if there was anyone else out there, but it just stopped. Taking the entire book into account my opinion is that it is quite good as I think it gives a good insight into what could happen if there is a nuclear explosion - it is realistic. Page1 ...read more.

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