Z For Zachariah - Major Themes

Major Themes

Seeing the story as a conflict between an innocent girl and a domineering scientist bent on controlling the valley, reviewers have found themes such as the destructiveness of science (at least when it is separated from conscience), the corrupting effect of the masculine desire for power, and the moral value of individual freedom. Ann’s sensitivity and love of nature are viewed as contrasting with Loomis’s callous reasoning and selfish compulsion to take control. Writing for The Spectator in April 1975, Peter Ackroyd concludes that “science turns paradise sour.” Reviews the same year in The Junior Bookshelf and Times Literary Supplement described Ann as an unwilling Eve who “finally refuses to begin the whole story over again,” apparently viewing the end of the human story as a good thing.

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