“Z for Zechariah” by Robert O’Brien

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Ann Burden is the main character in the novel “Z for Zechariah” by Robert O’Brien. The novel is in the form of her diary, written after a nuclear war. Ann, when the novel opens, is one month short of her sixteenth birthday and she has been surviving by herself for about a year with only chickens, 3 cows and some fish as the only other living creatures.

Her family and their dog went out to look for other people but they didn’t come back.

Subsequently a stranger comes arrives into Burden valley. The diary then reveals Ann’s character and her reactions when the stranger cautiously enters the valley.Ann decides to be cautious herself and she hides in the cave and spies on him, she wants company but fears him just in case he is a madman. Before this she digs up the food she has been growing in her garden, and takes some of her possessions up to the cave where she hides from him.

Then the stranger (called Mr Loomis) goes round with his Geiger counter and finds that there is no radiation in the valley. So he takes off his radiation suit and dives into Burden creek which is really the only thing in the valley which has radiation. Then the dog Faro returns and makes friends with the man. Mr Loomis then gets ill so Ann goes down to see him and she talks to him and he tells her about his condition and she wants to move him into the house but he tells her that the house is hers, so she insists.

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She puts him in David and Joseph’s room and dresses him in some pyjama’s. Later on she goes to get some water and comes back to see Mr Loomis getting his big gun out and putting 3 holes though her parents bedroom. He was shouting about someone called Edward. At this point she manages to calm him down but she is also scared that he might do something to her.After nursing him back to health he tells her about the petrol and how to use the tractor.

The day after she had used the tractor she was talking to him about the crops and he started to become demanding, telling her what to do and later in the conversation he made a pass at her, so she ran back to the cave.At this point in the diary Ann gets scared. Ann then said that she would not live in the house with him but she would come down every day to work on the field at get some food. The next day she comes down to get the tractor but she finds that the keys have gone.

She goes and speaks to Mr Loomis and he said that she couldn’t have them so she walked away and he shot her in the foot. At this point in the diary she realises that he is trying to manipulate her and he even took it to the extreme and shot her. She manages to get away. The next day she realises that she is faced with a choice, leave or stay, she decides to leave.

She doesn’t want to but she has to. She steals the suit and tent and goes to the top of Burden hill and waits. Mr Loomis tries to talk her out of it but she says,” no I must go”. He then goes to shoot her but she again manages to talk him out of it. This proves that she values human life rather than take it because she also had a gun but didn’t try to shoot him . He tells her to go west because he saw birds circling.This tells us that she is extremely brave and self-sufficient.

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“Z for Zechariah” by Robert O’Brien. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-essay-ann-burden-is-the-main-character-in-the-novel-z-for-zechariah-by-robert-obrien/

“Z for Zechariah” by Robert O’Brien
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