University of Waterloo, Canada
Post-apocalyptic fiction portrays the lives and struggles of apocalypse survivors after a wide-scale catastrophe wreaks the planet. These narratives intend to remind their audience of man’s ability to bring about his own doom, by exploring environmental disasters that could foreseeably ensue anthropogenic hazards: nuclear war, global warming, viral pandemic and technological perils that will decimate the population on the one hand, and spawn new threats for the remaining population on the other hand. Apocalyptic events in this literary genre indicate a fear for sudden civilization collapse and its relation to anthropogenic interventions among people. Thus, post-apocalyptic envisions usually act as a commentary on present social conditions and/or reflect deep-rooted social fears and anxieties. As a major theme of these narratives revolves around characters’ choices and their moral concepts of the pre-existing world, this paper aims to rhetorically analyze how Peter Heller’s protagonist copes with the terror of post-apocalyptic world in The Dog Stars to prolong his survival. Moreover, this study demonstrates that in Heller’s novel, despite the looming menace and the hostile environment, the need for companionship and security functions as the cement that holds individuals together to dream for a revival of civilization.
The above abstract is part of the article which was accepted at The Third International Conference on Current Issues of Languages, Dialects and Linguistics (WWW.LLLD.IR) & The Fifth National Conference on English Studies and Linguistics (WWW.ELTL.IR) , 31 January-1February 2019 , Iran-Ahwaz.