Study Guide

On the Beach Dissatisfaction

By Nevil Shute


The Stones sure sold these dudes short—satisfaction isn't even part of the equation in On the Beach. We are dealing with the nuclear apocalypse, after all. In the novel, we watch as a diverse bunch of characters respond to the news of the impending apocalypse in a variety of ways. Some dig deeper into home life. Some rage like there's no tomorrow. And some just go fishing. Although they all express their feelings of dissatisfaction in different ways, each character is dealing with similar feelings of sadness and disappointment.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. What is the difference between the characters' reactions to their feelings of dissatisfaction?
  2. How does Australia at large react to the apocalypse? How does that reaction change over time?
  3. How does Dwight cope with his dissatisfaction?
  4. In what ways does Moira change over the course of the novel?

Chew on This

Although most citizens at first respond to their dissatisfaction by getting wild, they eventually settle down and accept their fate.

If Dwight didn't have Moira around, he might have gone insane from his immense feelings of dissatisfaction.