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Adam and No Eve NOTES.pdf

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Mike Johnstone

Bester, "Adam and No Eve" Reading Notes - much of his work features morally ambiguous characters - "Adam and No Eve" features psychological immersion into the fevered imagination of the narrator--this is typical of Bester's writing - he also withholds information initially - the story is ultimately about the overreaching of science and the consequences it can have - described as an "apocalyptic narrative" - the image of the seacoast is first mentioned at the beginning and repeated often throughout the text - from the beginning we know that something is changed about the Earth - Krane finds it strange that the Earth still retains its polarity - the main character is a man named Krane - the Earth is radically changed from what readers would expect--rather than an ocean, Krane finds just ash - the story is very imagistic - Krane is at the end of a long journey, and in deep pain--physically and emotionally - Krane's narrative is dissociating for readers--it feels disjointed and fevered, as he most likely does - the Hallymer of Krane's hallucinations is portrayed as a cruel, godlike figure - Krane no longer recalls his purpose, but he knows that he has a destination and that there is something important about getting there - just as the reader does not know their destination, Krane does not know his - the Earth is changing and Krane is being left behind - Evelyn in his hallucinations is pure and perfect compared to the ruined Earth - only partway through the story are readers given the background information they have been waiting for - Krane has discovered a way to produce extremely efficient fuel - nobody thinks his rocket will work, except his wife Evelyn - Hallymer calculates that the fuel is too dangerous to use - Krane thinks that he is being cautious enough, and yet his work seems rushed - he admits that he didn't really invent the fuel--he simply stumbled onto it - "No man was smart enough to think all that up by himself" - he knows that the ship will only last the one trip, but thinks that that is worth it - one trip into the unknown is worth the destruction that it will create (or so he thinks) - he feels deep emotions for his work and the ship - Hallymer goes behind Krane's back to try to stop the trip - Krane knows that he will fail, but he wants to try anyways - it turns out that Hallymer was right, and Krane's efforts have destroyed all life on Earth, leaving him the last living being - the Earth is made into a ball of fire--complete destruction - the Earth he returns to is completely ch
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