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Literature: World War

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The book “Farmer in the Sky” by Robert A. Heinlein was published in 1950,
when culture consisted of new teenage rebellion. It was written in the years
following World War 2. However, this book was not about the war, but mainly
about the author’s view on a solution to a worldwide problem in the future.
The main character of this book, who was in his teenage years, was William
Lermer. The central characters that surrounded him were Bill’s father George,
his deceased mother Anne, his stepmother Molly, and his stepsister Peggy. George
and Anne had a great influence on shaping Bill’s character, George being the
main role model. Bill would go to George for advice all the time. He would act
on a decision the way he thought George would. They called each other by their
first names, which showed that they had great trust and togetherness. Although
Anne was not with Bill physically, she was with him emotionally. In Bill’s
mind, Anne was the one who gave him an emotional “push” when he needed one.
Bill learned his way of independence and his sense of family and morals from the
both of them. The book’s general theme was how an individual and a community
of people cope and interact through life-changing and traumatic events. It
proclaimed how someone can change and become stronger through a period of major
occurrences, no matter what the age factor may be. The primary concept of this
book was to show how people cope with issues facing mankind in a broader sense.
Furthermore, it was how they dealt with dependence, in themselves and others.
The time period of this story takes place “sometime in the future,” when
overpopulation had become a problem. Supplies, such as food, had been rationed.
This book was an intriguing insight into a 1950’s author’s outlook on the
future. The author used his experiences of coming through a world in the midst
of war in situations in the book. Heinlein had ideas to solving the
overpopulation problem, but it was not by commanding man. His idea was
colonization in a whole new place, which was one of Jupiter’s moons. It was
interesting to see how a society that had all its resources back on Earth start
a new life from practically nothing on a place billions of miles away. There
were many examples of symbolism in this story, which represented both the
author’s and society’s values and morals. The Boy Scouts was something Bill
was part of his whole life, on Earth and on the new colony. For a lifetime, the
Boy Scouts have taught people good values, like seeing things through to the end
and being able to survive no matter what the conditions. It also emphasized good
character in people. To add to that, family was stressed in this story. The
Lermers always stuck together as a family in moving to a new colony, starting a
new life, and through disaster. Moreover, the story began too abruptly. It left
the reader bewildered in the beginning about the time and the setting, and what
was going on in the background. However, the book was crafted very well. Through
the author’s words, a view on society and their morals was expressed. He used
a third-person technique to tell the story. The main character told story, but
also acted as an observer throughout the whole story. The vivid and very
realistic world that he described made me wonder what the future holds for us.
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