Ashes, Ashes

Jo Treggiari

Overview

Theme

Surviving with others is easier than surviving by yourself.


An example of this can be found in the current refugee crisis. Thousands of displaced people are trying to enter other countries. The only way for them to do this is from getting help from smugglers. While it is illegal it is the only way for these people to have a better life.

Presenting the Theme

How the novel, movie and website present the theme with an interesting sight.

The novel presents the theme by showing how a young girl who is wary of people and has been surviving on her own for a year, makes the choice to stay in a camp full of other survivors. The reason she does this is because the camp is full of supplies that she never had that makes living through an apocalypse easier as well as other people so she isn't lonely anymore.

The movie presents the theme slightly differently and is not as easy to understand. Robert Neville is surviving on his own with only the company of his dog. He has plenty of food and a place to live, the only thing that makes surviving by himself difficult is the loneliness. He refuses to leave when offered the chance because he thinks that if no one other than the mother and her son have answered his message in the three years that he's been sending it out, then there is no one else left.

The website does not present the theme very well, as it displays the books and gives a brief description of the author’s novels but the design of the web page is very plain. There are no images that reflect the themes and topics of her books.

Novel

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Plot

Melting polar caps caused waters to rise. Four years later, the plague reduced global population to less than one percent of what it used to be. Lucy Holloway is a sixteen year old girl that has been surviving on her own when a tsunami forces her to leave her camp and travel to a camp of other survivors. Sweepers come every couple of days and capture people and take them to the hospital, no one has ever come back. Lucy goes to rescue two taken children with Aidan and when they get there, Lucy finds out that she is immune to the plague. Dr. Lessing wants to forcibly takes Lucy’s blood to synthesize a vaccine, meaning that she will bleed her until she dies. Lucy and Aidan escape the hospital and bring the children back to the camp.

Setting

Characters

Lucy Holloway

  • Is sixteen years old.
  • Was not vaccinated as a child.
  • Immune to the plague.
  • Is brave, cautious and determined.
  • Speaks without thinking.
  • Loyal to her friends.

Dr. Lessing

  • Scientist who wants to create a vaccine for the plague.
  • Has excuses for all of her actions.
  • Has been searching for Lucy for a long time.
  • Pretends everything is safe and civilized but relies on force.
  • Wants to use Lucy’s blood to create a vaccine even though it will require bleeding her until she dies.
  • Doesn’t care if anyone gets hurt as long as she gets Lucy.

Movie With Theme Like Novel

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Movie Plot Summary

Robert Neville is a military scientist who is looking to cure a man-made virus that turns humans into mutants. He is the last human survivor in New York City. He sends out radio messages every day, telling any possible survivors to meet him at noon. He spends his time trying to find a cure for the plague and testing his cures on The Infected. When his only companion, his dog Sam, is bitten and he is forced to strangle her he decides to fight all of The Infected in rage. He is knocked unconscious before they overpower him and wakes up in his home to find Anna and her son, Ethan. They have heard his radio message and saved him from The Infected. Later, Robert realizes that The Infected are attacking his house. The overcome the defences he has set up and force Robert, Anna and Ethan to retreat to the basement lab. Robert realizes that the infected female he has tested one of his cures on has turned back into her human form. He takes a sample from her blood and gives it to Anna, who escapes with her son through a trapdoor. Once they are safe Robert blows the lab, himself and The Infected up. Anna and Ethan go to a community of survivors and give them the antidote.

Analysis of Presentation of the Theme Throughout the Movie

It is a little difficult to understand the theme throughout the movie. In the movie, it isn’t more difficult for Robert to keep himself alive because he is managing well, but he suffers from loneliness which makes his life a struggle. When he does find companions near the end of the movie and they suggest that he comes with them to the community of immune people in Vermont, he refuses and says that he wants to be left alone, and that he doesn’t believe that such a place exists. For three years no one has ever responded to his radio message which he thinks means that no one else is left in the world. If someone had responded to his message he would have gone. If he had had some human companionship then he would have survived in the end.

Website

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Evaluation of The Website

Megan Crewe's website has a page that she has dedicated to tell her life story. She begins by talking about her childhood, where she grew up in Toronto with her parents and younger brother. Megan explains how she has always loved writing and even as a small child she made up short adventure stories. She then talks about her first novel that was published and goes on to say that she kept writing and submitting her stories throughout university. Her vision is not conveyed very effectively, but I believe that her vision is to get more people involved in reading and writing books, as she provides multiple resources for writers.

Literary Value and Recommendation

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Literary Value and Recommendation by notactuallymary

Information

All my information about the book came from the book itself; Ashes Ashes by Jo Treggiari.

http://www.megancrewe.com is where I got my information about the website belonging to the author of a white pine novel. I used my knowledge of the movie from when I watched it as well as http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/ for a more detailed plot summary.