What is Armageddon an allusion to in "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth"?

In Arthur C. Clarke's science-fiction short story "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth," the word "Armageddon" is used as an allusion to the great battle at end of the world as prophesied in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Arthur C. Clarke's science-fiction short story "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth" was published in the magazine Future Science Fiction in 1951, at a time of widespread concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the looming possibility of nuclear war.

In the story, the word "Armageddon" is used as an allusion to a place, and to both a prophesied and all-too-present event.

"Armageddon" appears only once in the New Testament of the Bible:

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (KJV, Rev. 16:16)

The word also appears only once in "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...":

He [Marvin] was looking upon the funeral pyre of a world—upon the radioactive aftermath of Armageddon.

In...

(The entire section contains 378 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on