Post-Apocalyptic Film and Literature Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1500 Words
Date:  2022-04-18

Cormac McCarthy's novel, The Road, and Mad Max: Fury Road, are fascinating fictional narratives carrying post-apocalyptic themes that explore the aftermath of the apocalypse in a generation that is inhabited only by a small fraction of the indigenous population, where the survivors are damaged in different ways (Murphy). The Road takes the reader on a journey of a boy and his father after an anonymous catastrophe hit the world. The two travel through a rough terrain of the land which treats them with unforgiving conditions of abandoned towns, rotten corpses, and landscapes eaten by fire. They are the only living creatures on earth who are yet to be driven to rape, cannibalism, and murder (McCarthy). The son and his father, who remain anonymous through the novel, fight to survive in the unforgiving weather as they have little supplies, food, and shelter. They escape various traps of death and remain upbeat that they are good people who do not yearn to harm others. Unfortunately, the man suffers ill-health as they continued with the tough journey and is near his death as they approach the ocean. The boy mourns by his side and eventually journeys with a new set of the family that he meets along the road. In a well-scripted film, Mad Max: Fury Road tells of a story in the furthest reach of our planet, in a desert land where humanity is eroded, and the remnants are fighting for the necessities of survival (Miller). In the desert are two rebels who are on the run who try to restore order. One of the remnants is a man, Max, who is few of words but full of action. Max seeks his peace of mind after he loses his entire family after of the deadly turmoil and carnage. There also exist Furiosa. A lady full of life and action and believes in her path of survival. She believes that her survival is pegged on her on her ability to cross the stark desert back to her homeland.

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In light of these post-apocalyptic narratives in popular film and literature, there is need to examine how the different authors and directors using the genre to articulate issues affecting the contemporary society and as well as the intended outcomes. The people facing the apocalypse act in tactical survival manner to rescue their lives and return to their homeland. For instance, in The Road, after an apocalypse ravages their land, the father, and his young boy walk through the hostile land. They are looking for anything that can be eaten, as nothing can grow in the sickened soil (McCarthy). The ravaged world has long been plundered, and survival is unbearably hard. Blankets, good shoes, and canned food are the only things worth anything. The remnants have assumed weird traits such as cannibalism and roam from road to road looking food, children, and women to serve as sex slaves. The boy and his father try to survive in this harsh environment to rescue their lonely lives. On the other hand, Max runs from the haunting thoughts after the death of his wife and the dead bodies he encountered in the desert ( Miller). He is pursued by scavengers identified as the War Boys who are sickly and their bodies covered by blisters. The boys chase Max around the desert and make him crash even before they apprehend him. Among the survivors is Immortan Joe who wears a face mask to help him a breath from his collapsing lungs. He is in control of the little water available and warns other desperate survivors not to become addicted to it so that they may not get mad in its absence. At the same time, another remnant of the apocalypse, Furiosa, takes women owned as sex slaves by Joe prompting him to rally his War Boys to run after them.

McCarthy radiates the contemporary setting as loose and the inability of humanity to survive outside his wellbeing. The narrative showed the wasted land, the ashes in the sky, the corpses along the streets, all of the destruction on the big screen. They described the gruesome details of the aftermath, of trying to survive, the utter hopelessness when everything and everyone you once knew is gone. This is what war will ultimately bring. It is what will happen if we don't change our ways of dealing with the is the bitter downside of our hunger for technological advancements. Post-apocalyptic fiction acts as a warning sign of the eventualities that may rock the world if the appropriate case is not observed. For instance, the topic of global warming has continuously been debated, but little actions have been taken to control and eliminate it. If all the relevant actors do not take precaution, the world may experience an early apocalypse rather the biblical branded return of the Messiah. More importantly, would be to eliminate any repeat of World wars especially by taming the use of nuclear weapons.

Feminist issues in the apocalyptic world have taken a cue in the literally works, playing major or protagonist roles in destining the fate of gender equality (Tjitrosoediro). Up to date, most women are still struggling to live their lives under the dominant patriarchy system, and many authors are increasing championing their rights. Butler 1990 argues that gender is the cultural understanding of sex and should be seen only as fluid, a changeable thing, far from the contemporary setting that depicts it as solid. With this concept, the narrator of the Mad Max: The Fury George Miller, portrays her women character with changing roles taking over from what is seen as patriarchal. Foer example, the main female character, Imperator Furiosa is the only lady in War Boys' squad led by the warlord Immortan Joe. She is in charge of Lieutenant position, a position dominantly held by men. The portrays women as capable of leading the battlefront. In another scene, Furiosa detours from Gas town for more gasoline and is questioned by one of the War Boys who refers to her as the boss. It depicts her position and authority in the force. This describes an understanding that if women are given such roles, they can flip tables and show their capabilities (Tjitrosoediro). Additionally, from the novel, the narrator takes the reader through a scene where other women are degraded to the same level as animals as they are required to feed on their milk in place of water. They are forced to marry and left to be homemakers, but the role of Furiosa indicates that all women have a right to their fate in the society.

The same depiction of women is furthered in another apocalyptic novel by Max Brooks, World War Z, that give an account of the Zombie War. Most dominant the narration is Gerry's wife who reinforces her husband role of patriachism. The wife maintains her role as an overemotional woman, dependant on her husband's wits for survival. For instance, in one of the scenes, she becomes overemotional after missing Gerry and decides to call him. The author portrays women as a dependant. Again women are portrayed as feeble and struggling to engage the zombies as they lack the swiftness to escape. They are presented as delicate and with dainty bodies.

In the Terminator, women are portrayed as progressive and growing independently in the absence of the male patriarchy setup. Sarah, who is the main woman character, grows from a feeble defenseless lady who must be protected and rescued from atrocities by male figures. She grows to defend herself more after she is taught to use weaponry and make bombs. Afte her defender, Resee dies, Sarah learns to fight back and gain her independence. The patriarchal society thinks she has gone mad and locks her up in a mental institution (Cameroon).


Conclusively, the narrators of the three novels draw a picture of women who are liberating themselves from the dominant patriarchal setup that has characterized the society for decades. The idea of male gaze could suggest that women are sexualized and objectified in many setups despite their abilities to showcase their abilities, independence, and power. The progressive growth of the women characters assure that despite some cultures still hold women as less important compared to men; the mindset trajectory is changing for the better. The changing role leading to equity is a sure fact that men and women can equally stand on the same breath.

Works Cited

Brooks, Max. World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006. Print.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London: Routledge, 1990.

Cameron, James, and Gale A. Hurd. The Terminator. Los Angeles: Hemdale, 1984.

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2006.

Miller, George, Doug Mitchell, P J. Voeten, Brendan MacCarthy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult. Mad Max: Fury Road. , 2015.

Murphy, Kelly J. Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents through History. Augsburg Fortress, 2016.

Tjitrosoediro, Sekarlangit U. "An Analysis of Feminism Perspectives Depicted in Mad Max: Fury Road Movie." Academia (2018): 40-48.

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