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vikyavorsk

Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.

 

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham The book was sort of alright, but didn't take very much to my fancy because of the rather subtle premise it founded. I liked the idea of man-eating plants, but I had hoped the mysteries presented at the start of the book would unravel themselves in a much more conspiring manner, and at the end of the book many of the unknowns presented at the start still hadn't been covered. It ended quite as I had expected, in a straightforward way. At least the theme was interesting.

In my opinion, the author seemed to try to convey the idea that human civilisation is much more superficial than nature, no matter how advanced it may seem. In this book an entire world collapses simply because of a human invention which was exploited by means of human greed, by a seemingly insubstantial number of people. It explores the idea how much humans have lost general survival skills even less than a century into modern times- many of the survivors of the catastrophe had not the faintest idea of how to manage a house without use of pre-packaged materials and mains power, grow their own food by farming or even cook a simple meal. Thus they seem to have gone 'out of nature'. A year after the catstrophe the main character returns to London to discover all the buildings have crumbled apart without maintenance, with plants thriving on the decay. When he visits the seaside, he sees that the seaside bungalows have succumbed to a no less relentless fate, all deteriorating and grass ravaging the once kempt cottage gardens- "Can you imagine that once these bungalows were said to be ruining the countryside?". The man-eating plants, the triffids, despite their sudden, perhaps unnatural or maybe natural, advantage over the humans in the comfortable ecological niche the humans dominated, are also part of nature, being carnivorous plants. If you look at it from a less sympathetic-towards-our-species attitude, you would think that these modern humans were a bit like dinosaurs, perfectly complacent in the idea that there were no natural land predators other than themselves and therefore allowed themselves to completely forget the survival skills their ancestors once had when they lived in the wilderness, and they allowed themselves to forget how vulnerable they were once even one part of their five senses were irrevocably lost. However these people, unlike the dinosaurs, inflicted damage among themselves by their own accord and folly, by exploiting an undeveloped invention out of pure greed, then once they realised the triffids could pose a threat some small-scale protection was made, but satisfactory, large-scale measures were not taken, and people who spoke of a large-scale disaster were ignored simply because of the lack of convenience that would provide. So, ironically, nature takes its revenge in this way. The niceties and other laws of society are all destroyed. But still, humans are different from dinosaurs in the way that are able to physically adapt to new conditions, better than any other species, so that still leaves some sort of hope...