Study Guide

Alas, Babylon Technology and Modernization

By Pat Frank

Technology and Modernization

We live in a world saturated with technology. Imagine what would happen if all of it—phones, televisions, even fridges—disappeared in an instant.

This is the predicament faced by the characters of Alas, Babylon after a nuclear war demolishes most of the United States and the entirety of its electrical grid. Putting aside the obvious things, like lights and running water, the novel's characters realize just how much technology they take for granted every day. From a pair of glasses, to a daily dose of medicine, we use even more technology than we think. And what would happen if all of it went away?

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. What piece of technology seems most indispensible after reading Alas, Babylon? What could you do without?
  2. How might the world better prepare for a potential nuclear war? Are there any steps that could be taken?
  3. How does their lack of technology affect the residents of Fort Repose?
  4. Is there anything you didn't think about as technology before reading the novel? If so, explain.

Chew on This

Electricity seems to be the most important technology in society, as it provides the entire foundation upon which the modern world is built.

While some adapt well to the technological regression of Fort Repose, others, like the highwaymen, become more barbaric as a result.

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