Alas, Babylon

by Pat Frank

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What character can Randy Bragg be compared to in another literary work?

Looking for a literary character from another book who relates to Randy the best.

Expert Answers

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Randy Bragg is similar to Ralph inLord of the Flies by William Golding.  Both novels  feature a marked departure from the constructions of civilization, both novels also feature a moral character who attempts to uphold law and order. 

InAlas, Babylon, Randy Bragg's small hometown of Fort Repose becomes isolated by nuclear war and subsequently threatened by gangs of highwaymen who represent anarchy and savagery.

Likewise, Ralph inLord of the Fliesbecomes stranded on a deserted island after a plane crashes carrying a group of students on their way from England to Australia during war time.  As one of the older boys on the island, Ralph's integrity leads him to take responsibility and a leadership role among the boys on the island. 

Beyond the extremely similar contexts and themes of their respective novels, Ralph and Randy play similar roles--both of them could be seen as characters who represent the psychological 'ego' of their novels; they are characters who attempt to establish order and define limits for the other characters' behavior. 

While character like the savage Jack from the Lord of the Flies or the lawless highwaymen fromAlas, Babylon represent the id, encouraging chaos and instant gratification, Randy and Ralph both fight to overcome the baser elements of civilization and restore morality and order.

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