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I think that the fundamental question that is posed in the novel is whether or not one has faith in human beings to avoid the problems of the past and not repeat it. The premise offered is that through the obliteration and the progression of human civilization, will human beings learn from the mistakes of the past? If one holds out faith in the human predicament, then there is a connection of hope. For instance, the presence of religion despite the obliteration of civilization might be one such instance where hope does live and redemption can be possible. If spirituality allows human beings to better understand their own state of being in the world, then the survival of religion can indicate a sense of hope in the future. Yet, if one believes that religion could not stop a first nuclear catastrophe, the logical inference is that it lacks the moral fiber and stature to avoid another. I think that the work does not necessarily conclude one way or the other, yet it is more reflective of the reader and what they believe. This is what makes the work so powerful because the reader's perceptions are more on trial than anything else.
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