Surviving Catastrophe: A Journey through 'Life as we knew it

Categories: Life As We Knew It

Have you ever imagined the world is coming to the end tomorrow? What if the largest asteroid ever hits the moon, knocking it out of orbit, creating worldwide disasters? Tidal waves destroy numerous coastal cities, killing millions of people, and the dead list gets longer and longer every day. Gas climbs up to $5 per gallon, then $7, and pretty soon, it costs $35 for three gallons, and you can only buy three gallons at a time. That’s what happened to Miranda’s life, the main character in the fictional book, “Life as we knew it”.

The story is expressed through journal entries, revealing her thought about her fight for survival and how her family gets over the misfortune together. To Miranda, the unexpected asteroid can only mean an excuse for teachers giving out more homework. More homework on top of her best friends fighting, her dad’s newly pregnant wife, and the fight with her mother whether or not she can return to ice skating after a serious injury.

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With all those problems going through her mind, Miranda goes outside with her family to watch the asteroid hit the moon.

Thunderstorms knock out the electricity in Miranda’s school. None of it seems real for Miranda, even when her mother sends her and her brother to a grocery store to buy all the canned soup, vegetable, aspirin, vitamins, as much as they possibly can. The store almost runs out of food by the time they get there. Everything goes crazy, they can purchase a fulfill cart, no matter how much they get, for only .

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Throughout the incredibly freezing winter caused by continuous volcanic eruptions all over America, Miranda tries to live life as normally as possible.

She goes to the pond for ice skating as long as she can breathe. She visits her friends, even though they are not the same people as they were before the disaster. Some her neighbors and her friends, including her dad’s new family, are heading South with a glimpse of hope for better living conditions, while her family resists staying at their homeland, hoping everything will get better tomorrow. The question is, how long can Miranda and her family survive with minimal water, a nearly used-up food supply, no heat or electricity, and below-zero temperatures?

When so many people are giving up hope, starving to death, dying of diseases with no cure, Miranda is still clinging to the hope of normality. She still wants to date with Dan, her swimming teammate, and she fights with her mother about the unequal diet between her and the two brothers. During the most difficult time of the disaster, Miranda’s best qualities come to light. Her determination helps her family survive through the deadly flu, which has killed hundreds of people. Being the only in the family who resists the attack of the deadly flu, Miranda is taking good care of her mother and two brothers without help from anyone else.

Even though she always fights with her mother, she never gives up on loving her. Miranda might not know how long this will last, or whether they will survive through this miserable time, but she does know that by working together they stand a chance. This is an interesting and meaningful story about the severe fight for survival and hope. It really makes you think about what would happen to you in this situation. Because it’s written in Miranda’s diary, it’s easy to follow along and the words are quite easy to understand.

Updated: Nov 20, 2023
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Surviving Catastrophe: A Journey through 'Life as we knew it. (2016, Sep 13). Retrieved from

Surviving Catastrophe: A Journey through 'Life as we knew it essay
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