Critique Alas Babylon, by Pat frank, is a story that revolves round the actions of a single idea, survival. This is reflected in his choice of the title in itself. It is a phrase that is repeated several times in the book, and brings a sense of uneasiness each time. These words come from a part of the “Revelations of St. John, which describes the decadence of Babylon and the evils that surrounded it at the time (Pg. 14-15).” The characters in this book, Mark, and Randy Bragg, began using this phrase from a preacher that they used to listen to as kids.
“Randy and Mark never forgot preacher Henry’s thundering, and from it, they borrowed their private synonym for disaster, real or comic, past or future (Pg. 15).” There is such a great pattern of impending death and destruction that awaits each character, which a city like Babylon is a perfect comparison to their world in which they live in. Babylon was once a city of many achievements and wonders, proving that they were far ahead of their time. This makes one wonder if it is possible that we are on the same path. “Sometimes Preacher Henry made Babylon sound like Miami, and sometimes like Tampa… (Pg.
14) ” The phrase in its self could mean that we have at last reached our point of no return, and that there is no way back, it seems like such a solemn and definite statement that there can be no way out, when Mark says to Randy, ‘But if you hear “Alas Babylon,” you ” ll know that’s it, (Pg. 16) ‘ he means it as a last resort for help or great destruction is coming. Mark knows that there is no choice but to prepare for war, and a message that strong can only be expressed by words that significant. There couldn’t have been a better way to describe what the brothers were feeling at the time, two words ‘Alas, Babylon.’ The title was taken from a text that had been read and reread, and had given many interpretations. In the bible, the name Babylon comes with a association of power and strength. Pat Frank wanted to convey that same feeling to the readers, so he used a city that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else.
... and children flying to Orlando tonight. Alas, Babylon? (14). Alas, Babylon is the phrase that Randy and Mark used when there was something terribly wrong ... together knowing that there are going to be rough times ahead. Randy then paid Malachai his twenty dollars for his weekly chores ... everyone that was pregnant went into labor at the same time. In times of severe stress it causes women to go into ...
Only few other events in history were as memorable as the fall of Babylon, so this means it has to be notorious. Randy put it in his own words… ‘There was a phrase he had heard a number of time, “The end of civilization as we know it” Now I knew what the phrase meant (Pg. 31) ‘ Alas, Babylon held great meaning for the characters in this book. It was a feeling of desperation, and ultimately survival. They had to go through great lengths to make it through what was called ‘the end of civilization’.
This was a fitting title because it said just enough, strength, determination, and continued existence.