Jola Fallach
'The Last Night of the World' by Ray Bradbury is a short story published in February 1951, a year of the beginning of the Korean War, and the start of testing nuclear bombs in Nevada.

The narrator depicts an ordinary family's evening in any industrial country, with parents having coffee and the daughters playing outside. The title of the story is repeated in the first sentence, which is a question like from a social game. With this difference that it is not a game: we slowly get to know that all people had the same dream in which a voice told them that 'things would stop here on Earth'. The couple discusses the reasons for 'closing a book', other people's reactions, what others might be doing during the last few hours of that last day, and their feelings towards the end of the world. They are calm, reflective and follow their daily routine with a kind of satisfaction. Children are not informed of the situation.

This is a very strange story because of the lack of the emotions in it. Its political and moral motifs are obvious, but it misses any moralisation or religious symbols. We have been bad, well - not everyone - but as a race we are guilty of many terrible things, and one of them is our indifference towards the other people's ordeal. Yes, I am guilty, too, but - as we are still on this planet - can we try to write a better book?
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