The life of every character in Alas, Babylon is disrupted and changed as a result of the nuclear attack.
In the story Alas, Babylon all the characters changed but one of them in particular changed the most. Even if they changed since before the day or if they have changed their whole life style, they have changed. As the novel progresses, he gradually changes from a playboy bachelor with a trust fund into a hardened leader. The character that has changed the most is Randy Bragg. To begin with, Randy Bragg was a lazy man who just sat around drinking and spying on Florence’s pets all day.
All of his habits changed when the bomb hit. Randy had to sacrifice everything. He had to sacrifice his alcohol and his food so they could survive this terrible time. Randy had changed into a better person as time went on. Immediately, he became strong and the leader, not only of the household, but also of the town. The change of his attitude was brought on from the way he acted in emergencies and how he could handle everything in such a subtle manner. The times after The Day were the times given to him to prove not only to his family, but also to the entire town, that he was no fool.
You see, all their lives, ever since they’ve known anything, they’ve lived under the shadow of war – atomic war. For them the abnormal has become normal. All their lives they have heard nothing else, and they expect it” (Frank 84). Also, he was a hardworking leader with intelligence and wit; who was also full of love and compassion for his friends and family.Randy was a changed man in everyone’s eyes including his own. He worked really hard to protect his own people.
A major theme of the novel is survival. Survival of the fittest..
. The strong survive. The frail die. The exotic fish die because the aquarium isn’t heated.
The common guppy lives. ..
. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’s going to be” (Frank 175). Randy knows that civilization had to be rebuilt, although it will not be easy, cut off as they were from needed goods and services deep inside a contaminated zone. Necessity being the mother of the invention, he and the other characters find new food sources and alternative ways to get things done. The struggle was not against a human enemy, or for victory.
The struggle, for those who survived “The Day”, was to survive the next” (Frank 123). Eventually, Randy turned out to be a happier person at the end of the novel because he has changed and he got to marry his friend, and love of his life, Elizabeth McGovern. He loved this quote by his wife:”This place is no good for you, Randy. The air is like soup and the people are like noodles. You’re vegetating.
I don’t want a vegetable. I want a man” (Frank 52).He felt proud of himself for making things happen and for helping others. He now knows that he does have a heart, and will always have a heart.
In conclusion, the growth of the characters in the book grew significantly as a result of the postwar circumstances thrust upon them. Randy changed majorly throughout the story. He became stronger, a hardworking person, and happier. Randy became a whole different person. If it wasn’t for the destruction, then Randy wouldn’t be the person he is now, and will always be the same person he was before.