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World's End Themes

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

World's End is Boyle's satirical treatise on the illogical, confusing progress of American history. There is the suggestion that American history is so chaotic, in fact, that American culture will never propagate tradition. The term "American civilization" is an oxymoron. In order to demonstrate how such a country could never produce a coherent body of literature, Boyle makes constant allusions to works of American literature in a haphazard way. Boyle even parodies his own novel within the text of World's End when he introduces Sasha Freeman, a Communist who graduates from New York University in 1927, and who has written a book called Marx Among the Mohicans. The anachronistic title parodies not only America's history but also its literature with the allusion to James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans (1826). The frivolous nature of the allusion also suggests that literature has failed as an effective social force.