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The Host

The Host


by Stephenie Meyer

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

The Desert, Unknown Time Period

We've Been Through the Desert in a Year with No Name

It's hard to determine the year The Host takes place in. Aside from television, no other modern human technology is mentioned. Wanda sends e-mail, but whether she's using existing human infrastructure or alien technology is unknown. Why does it matter?

Well, it would help us put the attitudes toward women in perspective. There's a lot of talk over who is responsible for Melanie's body—like, "Whoever the body belongs to makes the call" (16.41), says Jeb. And neither Wanda nor Melanie are ever consulted, only the men, usually Jared or Jamie, sometimes Ian.

Could they all be living in the 50s, young Don Drapers trapped in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers ceremony come true, or are they just modern-day chauvinist pigs? Since Wanda knows of The Brady Bunch, this has to be post 1970, so unfortunately, in their return to primitive living, the men have also regressed to primitive behavior. (And is it just us, or this is a pretty common feature of post-apocalyptic stories?)

Here Comes the Rain Again

The deserts of Arizona is an apt setting for The Host, because the human race has found itself in a metaphorical desert—barren, dying, and surrounded by danger.

But in the Epilogue, it rains in the desert. Rains have a tendency of washing things clean and bringing new life. That's exactly what's happening in the epilogue to The Host. The humans and Wanda's species (well, at least two of them) are about to embark on a new journey of co-existence. In addition, they've found other human survivors. The weather is changing, and we don't just mean the cold front moving in. Could the ending be the beginning of a turning point for the human race?

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