Isolation and being alone is a phobia of many. Ann Burden, from Z for Zachariah, and Chuck Noland, from Cast Away, were faced with a life of isolation. Ann and Chuck dealt with their isolation differently, with different situations and circumstances. When arguing who was better off, it is important to analyse and compare the food, shelter, resources and companionship each character had. With the variety, convenient and nutritional value of food the characters had, Ann had the better of the two situations. Ann had a large variety of food; she could get flour, sugar, tinned meat and similar items from the Klein’s store.
She used these items to made cakes and other products. Ann collected eggs from the chickens and later on she used chickens as meat. She also had cows that she could collect milk from; she used the milk for butter and also for other foods. Ann could also grow her own food; she had land to grow many crops such as; peas tomatoes, beets, potatoes, beans and other fruit and veggies. Ann thought of ways to maximize the use of the land. For example Ann states what she is thinking in her diary when she wrote, “I planned to fertilize the corn and the soy beans and pea-beans, which were now up” (Page 126).
This shows that she thought how she could get the most out of her crops. She had an uncontaminated pond where she could collect fish and fresh water. With all these food sources, Ann had no reason to work hard for food. As opposed to Chuck who had to hunt and gather his food Chuck also only had a small variety of food. Chuck only had Coconuts flesh and milk and seafood (crabs and fish). With the situation that both characters had in terms of food, Ann was better off. With Chuck suddenly being isolated in a new, unknown place and Ann still living in the valley, Ann had much better shelter then Chuck.
Ann had many different types of shelter. She had her house that her and her family lived in, the church, a tree with a large hollow trunk, the Klein’s store and living quarters above the store, the barn and shed. Ann also had a small cave in the mountains that was useful many times in the book, for especially when Mr. Loomis arrived in the valley. The time that she is most thankful for the cave is when Mr. Loomis started to act strange. Ann stated this the first time he acted strange, writing this in her diary on the 30th of June, “I am living in the cave again, and I am glad now that never told
Mr. Loomis about it or where it was” (Page 126). Ann had many different types of shelter compared to Chuck. Chuck had very little shelter. Also the shelter was only the lifeboat, which is not very useful and broke within the first few days. Also chuck had a cove but it was small with minimal space, making it difficult to move around in. So it’s clear that Ann had better shelter compared to Chuck. Both Chuck and Ann had many resources; both of them had different type of resources, but had had more useful resources. Ann had very useful resources, such as a gun and bullets, to use for protection.
She had a tractor and petrol that was used for farming, such as ploughing, fertilising and transportation. She also had natural resources such as a pond for water, fruit trees also many animals such as cows and chickens and land to cultivate. Ann also had the Klein’s store, in the store there was food, clothing, candles, matches and many other resources. In her house, she had many resources such as laundry tub, stove and lots of bedding. Finally when Mr. Loomis came, he brought a safe suit, the suit could withstand radiation.
A Geiger counter, that measured the amount of radiation in the air. Finally a tent that can also withstand radiation, all of these are also helpful resources. On the other hand, Chuck had very little resources. He had packages that he opened. In the packages he found ice skates that he used as rope and knife, a volley ball, which became a companion, a dress, video rapes, paper, bubble wrap and cardboard. Chuck also had natural resources on the island such as rocks, trees, shells and leaves. This show that Ann had better and also more resources compared to Chuck.
With both characters with minimal companionship, it was hard to deal with the loneliness but Ann had it better off. For the first year that Ann was alone, she only had the radio for a short amount of time, telling her what has happened out of her town. Her diary was used to keep track of what events happened and the animals that broke the silence. When Mr. Loomis came Ann was excited, but scared that someone was still alive. Throughout the book their friendship changes, it has its ups and down. In the end, she wishes that Mr. Loomis had never come. On the other hand, Chuck had no human companionship.
He only had a volleyball that he made into a face and named it Wilson, a whale when he was floating in the sea and a photo of Kelly, his girlfriend. Ann didn’t have better companionship to Chuck, even though Chuck didn’t have human companionship he was close to the ball. It is clear that Ann was in a much better position compared to Chuck. She had better food, with more variety and convenience, more and safer shelter, greater and more reliable resources. Even though her companionship wasn’t the best, her living conditions were much better. If their isolation was long term, Ann would be in a more sustainable position.
Courtney from Study Moose
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