Nuclear Wasteland In Walter Van Tilburg Clark's The Portable Phonograph

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As it lightly snows across a barren wasteland, some wonder if the snow is real this time and not just radioactive fallout. While a nuclear blast itself constraints mankind’s chance of survival, a nuclear winter will truly determine who survives in the end. In the short story “The Portable Phonograph” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, this dreadful apocalypse becomes a reality. The story starts off with a vivid description of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Then the author gives insight into the struggle of living in a nuclear winter through the need of a musical interaction between four guys. After observing this harsh way of life, the question “What is a nuclear winter actually like?” emerges. In the article “How to Survive Nuclear Winter” by James…show more content…
However, people have suggested many ideas for possible the outcomes. The first aspect of nuclear winter is the barren wasteland that surrounds the radius of the initial impact. “The Portable Phonograph” paints this wasteland perfectly through the vivid description that was provided. For instance, when describing the craters in the ground, the author wrote, “These pits were such as might have been made by falling meteors… They were the scars of gigantic bombs, their rawness already made a little natural by rain, seed, and time” (Clark, 1941, p. 177). After knowing the sheer power behind nuclear weapons, there is no doubt that the Earth would be quite desolate in a nuclear winter. In addition to the geographical changes, the next aspect of nuclear winter is the rather cold climate that is formed. This means no more tropical climates around the world - everlasting the radioactive fallout in the form of snow. According to the article “How to Survive Nuclear Winter”, it is estimated that “if [nuclear winter] were to happen in July, there would be a 22 degree C drop in mid-latitudes and 10 degree drop in more humid areas” (Roberts, 2007, p. 1). These estimates alone prove that nuclear winter could be very

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