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The end of the world, or civilization, is probably one of humankind's most horrifying fears. The apocalypse has been explored by many writers, and the decision to include this type of literature in a curriculum depends on how the situation is presented and resolved. The work should offer some solution and hope. Two recent works of apocalyptic fiction in the fantasy genre are Stephen King's "The Stand" and Frank Herbert's "The White Plague." Both novels avoid the modern cliche of global nuclear war and depict a gradual end of the world brought about by failures of government. While King's novel has mystical elements, Herbert uses a scientific approach to the apocalypse. Both novels, however, present some form of return to the basic values that died along with a vast percentage of the population. Both deal with the impending end of the world, as opposed to complete obliteration, thus giving the reader hope for a reformation of society. Other fears presented are a fear of science, a fear of chaos, a fear of evil, and a fear of things beyond human control. By reading these two novels, students may develop a "need" to stay informed as to what their society and government are heading toward. Apocalyptic fiction allows the reader to examine isolation, desperation, and frustration within society without having to encounter them in the real world. Apocalyptic fiction serves up moral and societal questions that students can ponder in a safe context. (Contains seven references.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Contemporary Literature, Curriculum Development, Higher Education, Literary Devices, Literary Genres, Literature Appreciation, Reading Material Selection, Science Fiction, Secondary Education

Autor: Compora, Daniel P.

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=7303&id=ED416488

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