On The Beach Character Analysis Essay

On The Beach Summary

Within the novel On The Beach by Nevil Shute, the author emphasizes the relationship that develops between Dwight Towers and Moira Davidson. Commander Towers was an American Naval Officer who escaped the nuclear war because he was in a submarine at the time of the conflict and landed in Australia. Moira is a carefree girl, born and raised in Australia, who loves to party and works as a prostitute despite her degree in history. Although they seem to have a relationship that is categorized as romantic, there are many aspects of their bond that do not display an amorous affiliation.

So if their relationship were not to be defined as such, then what would be their type of bond? Astutely, Smith points out that Dwight seems to be less of an affectionate partner, and instead is more of a paternal mentor to Moira. Throughout their entire relationship, Dwight acted as a tutor as he explained multiple subjects to Moira. For instance, when they first meet, Dwight illustrates through understandable scientific means how the radiation cloud is supposed to reach Australia. Throughout the book, Dwight also tells Moira about everything that happens on the cruises that he and the submarine crew go on.

The Beach Character Analysis

Nevil Shute’s On the Beach is a novel that tells the story of the final days of humanity after a nuclear war. The novel follows a group of characters as they attempt to survive in the aftermath of the destruction.

One of the main characters in the novel is Mary Holmes, a young woman who is pregnant with her first child. Mary is forced to confront the reality of the situation when she learns that her husband has been killed in the war. She must now decide whether to stay in Australia and try to survive, or go to America and find a safe place for her child.

Mary is a strong and determined character who ultimately decides to go to America in hopes of finding a better life for her child. She is brave and selfless, and her journey is a reminder of the human capacity for hope and love in the face of adversity.

As Dwight tells Moira this, he clarifies why the findings of the cruise are important and what they mean concerning the future of those yet alive. For example, when he and the crew go northwards to test the Jorgensen theory, their findings disprove the theory which confirmed that the radiation was continuing to travel southward. This brought certainty to all of the characters that they were going to die.

This shredded any last hope that the characters had concerning survival and dispelled the idea of holding onto things they anted to save for the future. Dwight also would tell her about how the lack of sunlight was really bad for the health of everyone in the submarine. Additionally, they discussed how the crew would use the horn on the submarine to see if there was any life at the locations they would stop by. Because Dwight still imagines that his family is alive, he refuses to fully dive into his relationship with Moira physically because he does not want to cheat on his wife, Sharon, who he imagines is still”… going home to meet them, next September.

In his hometown, at Mystic”(Shute 204). As a result, Moira and Dwight never do anything more than kiss a few times. Even then, the first time that they kissed, Dwight justified it by saying that the kiss was from both him and Sharon, which removed the romantic intention and was more of a kiss of gratitude because he was grateful to her that she would make the effort to get the pogo stick for his “alive” six-year-old daughter. So not only does he say that the kiss is from both him and Sharon, but it was only in gratitude that he kissed her in the first place.

The entire intention of the kiss is odd as well as the point that when those who are technically in an “affair” per se, normally, lovers reach the highest point of physical intimacy. Interestingly enough, Moira wants to marry Dwight, but she also realizes that she never will. She explicitly expresses her feelings about this to Mary. Mary asks Moira at one point, “Couldn’t you marry Dwight? “And Moira responds, “I don’t think so… He wouldn’t ever do that. You see, he’s married already”(Shute 203-204).

In the novel, Moira goes as far to admit that she was the one that was courting Dwight. Meaning that the relationship was not mutual as most relationships are. When she and Dwight go fishing in Alaska as their last opportunity to ever fish, Dwight clarifies with Moira that he does not want to involve himself with her because he was so close to keeping a clean slate for n. He goes on to tell her that he does not want to hurt her. acknowledging the fact that Dwight senses that Moira has developed romantic feelings for him.

On the other hand, Dwight “… ook her into his arms and kissed… ” Moira at the end of the novel which indicates that he does indeed reciprocate the same affections that she has for him (Shute 309). However, that quickly dissipates when he refuses to let Moira to come on board with him in the submarine to sink the vessel together. He still holds onto his vision of returning home to his wife and not wanting to be with Moira for the sake of his marriage up to the very end. He however, does reinforces his love for Moira by kissing her again and continuing to do so until Moira stops him.

It is almost as if he is torn between duty and desire, but because he is an honorable man he always prioritizes duty above pleasure. At the end of their first meeting, Dwight asks Mary to put Moira to bed as if she is a child. If he were to actually have thought that they were in some kind of affair, there would have been a completely different outcome of the night. Although this would not play that large of a factor, Dwight also may have thought of Moira more as a child because of the nine year age gap between them. While she was twenty four years old, Dwight was thirty three.

Moira had a personality that was less mature and responsible. Because of this personality, this may have increased Dwight’s superiority over her because he was a naval officer in high standings, whereas she was a woman with a college degree, but she worked as a prostitute. Dwight encourages Moira to go to college a few times to gain more knowledge and skills. This actually is an interesting suggestion because Moira already has a degree, and if he were her “lover”, he would not have had suggested an activity that was quite useless considering they were all about to die because he would have wanted to spend more time with her.

This also portrays the authoritative father figure that Dwight seems to be because that is what a father would suggest for his daughter. Furthermore, Moira actually takes it upon herself to take a few classes at the university to learn how to type and act as a secretary for a position in the future. So not only does Dwight suggest this course of action, but Moira actually follows through by attending several classes. This displays that Moira takes Dwight’s advice seriously because she sees him as a person whose opinion is honorable and trustworthy.

While this kind of elevation in how much a person thinks about the other’s opinion does occur between lovers, this specific example shows more of the kind of fatherly advice than that of a boyfriend. Its also interesting to think about the perspectives that Moira and Dwight have and how they change. In the beginning of the book, Dwight has a more positive perspective than Moira has. In Chapter 4, while Moira was bitter about dying so early Dwight brought up a couple of interesting upsides to imminent death. He points out that when you die “… you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming”(Shute 133).

He also realizes that everyone has “… got to die one day, some sooner and some later” so he would “… rather have it that way than go on as a sick man from when [he’s] seventy to when [he’s] ninety”(Shute 133) Moira on the other hand is bitter about her fate because she believes it is “… unfair… ” and because she has”… to die because other countries nine or ten thousand miles away… wanted to have a war”(Shute 40). As the book progresses, however, Dwight seem to develop a more negative attitude which other may have resulted from Moira’s influence or the dull and depressing findings of his two cruises.

On the other hand, Moira seems to develop a more positive attitude and a more optimistic outlook of her life, despite its fast conclusion. This goes to show the different influences that each of them had on each other. While there were some instances that displayed Moira and Dwight’s relationship as romantic, the many examples already given earlier and in the novel show otherwise. However, amourous or not, the relationship between those two characters had a significant impact on the other. Along with this, each character benefitted from the affiliation because each of them had a companion to confide in for the last part of their lives.