Monthly Archives: March 2017

Deciphering the True Essence of a Character

What defines a person? Is a person characterized by his or her innate qualities, or is a person’s character rather established by the external influences upon his or her life? On that note, in The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, … Continue reading

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The Suicide of Kerans

In Chapter 9 of The Drowned World, Kerans knowingly dives beyond safe boundaries, “driven by an impulse whose identity he would never comprehend….” (128). This strange desire that has haunted Kerans ever since his prehistoric dream where he “dissolves” and “spreads … Continue reading

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Beauty in The Drowned World

In J.G. Ballard’s terrifying, revolting, awe-inspiring world, beauty is found in those places where the old world, the world as we know it, and Keran’s world, blanketed in grime and overrun by monsters, meet. Early on in the novel, Ballard … Continue reading

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Isolated – in The Drowned World

Throughout The Drowned World, the recurring hints at mental and emotional isolation amongst the characters caught my attention. Despite the fact that the population of massive iguanas and other creatures would seemingly draw the evidently smaller human population together not … Continue reading

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“Ocean Apocalypse” as a prologue to The Drowned World

Jeremy Jackson’s lecture “Ocean Apocalypse,” in condensed form, would be an excellent prologue to The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard. Jackson lays out the clear, hard data behind the largest natural catastrophe of our time (or unnatural catastrophe, if you … Continue reading

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Kerans’ Signature

At the very end of The Drowned World, after beginning his southern voyage, Kerans has a retrospective moment. He not only reflects on the impermanence of life, which he expects to end soon, but also the events of the last year. He … Continue reading

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Rebirth: Mother Nature’s Womb

In J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, Robert Kerans’s dive into the planetarium evokes provocative womb imagery, which reflects his journey back to the origins of time and frames mother nature as alive, and in effect, a character. Kerans  describes the … Continue reading

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The Drowned World vs. Lord of the Flies-Dystopian Literature

In The Drowned World, JG Ballard employs several themes that can be seen throughout the post-apocalyptic, or dystopian novel. Specifically, he points at humanity’s struggle with  maintaining established “norms,” in order to keep from devolving into a more chaotic world. In The Drowned … Continue reading

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A Strange Man

In Chapter 7, we are introduced to a new character driving a hydroplane around the lagoons of London and rallying forth all the alligators in the marshes. In Chapter 8, we get to meet him. His name is Strangman, and … Continue reading

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Can We Avoid a Drowned World?

Kolbert states in her lecture, “The Sixth Extinction,” that we humans are “somewhat confused creatures ourselves,” not knowing how to solve the contradiction of sustaining ourselves and destroying ourselves. However, in his lecture “Ocean Apocalypse,” Jackson says there is hope … Continue reading

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