Why do the characters in J. G. Ballard's The Drowned World seem to be drawn toward the sun?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World opens with an immediate reference to the sun. "Soon it would be too hot." Following this sentence, numerous references are made to the extreme heat the sun produces: "relentless power of the sun," "refracted rays drummed against his bare skin," and "the solar disk was no longer a well-defined sphere." The narrator indirectly refers to the importance of the sun through the repeated mentioning of it, its impact, and how it feels and looks. 

The drawing of the character to the sun lies in one reason: the atmosphere is gone, and the sun's heat, no longer diffused, bakes the earth. Given the impact the sun has upon the earth and its inhabitants, it is no wonder the characters seem to be infatuated with the "colossal fireball." The sun becomes the one thing which defines how all must live, even mutate. Given the sun's power, the characters have no choice but to be drawn to it. 

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