TheDog Star by Peter Heller


TheDog Star by Peter Heller is a post-apocalyptic fiction book that wasproduced in 2012. The book uses the crucible of global catastrophe toexamine the concept of humanity openly. That is the various essentialelements within an individual or life as a whole. For example, thewriter uses the outbreak of a deadly flu pandemic that wipes away asignificant number of the world’s population in a bid to provide aclear demonstration of the chaos that accrues as the world entersinto a state f warring savagery. Further, through thepost-apocalyptic fiction book, the writer can depict how the worldcan maintain a sense of moral virtue as survivors of the said deadlyflu pandemic make the decision on how to survive. While on the otherhand, animals can maintain their survival despite the global climatechange. The background will be of help in this paper in regards tocomparative analysis of the book “TheDog Star”.

Theaspect of humanity within this particular book is evident a mancalled Hig, who has involved himself in illegal activities for nineyears in a bid to survive in the world (6). Although the man is moreof the hero of the novel due to his refusal to resort to cannibalism,the terrible things he is forced to do to ensure his survival in theworld for the nine year period such as hunting down the remaininganimals in the word has affected his sense of emotional peace. Theissue is mainly because the activities have taken a toll on his soul.The bizarre combination of a global climate change and the outbreakof a deadly flu pandemic as well as the quixotic journeys undertakenby Hig in a bid to survive, provide readers with a broad and clearperception of the changing world.

Viewson Intrusion

Inthe book, Cima, a trained medic who portrays as a type of eternalfeminine during the apocalyptic period openly shares a mutualseduction with big Hig (278). Together with her father, Cima viewsHig’s intrusion into their dwelling place as an act of blessing.That is, despite being occupants of a small hidden valley with acomplete garden and livestock, Cima and her father understood theintrusion by Hig as an opportunity to move away from the valley. Itwas due to the increased and worsening in the area which resulted inthe death of their animals and failure in crop growth anddevelopment. That is, the arrival of Big Hig was perceived by Cimaand her father as an opportunity to enhance their survival. Thearrival was mainly due to the presence of Hig`s aircraft that wouldhelp foster their evacuation from the dry and to a more productiveone.

Whileon the other hand, Hig and his only neighbor Bangley view outsiderswho try to approach the airport in which they reside as thieves,those who have come to steal and lay claim on their properties. Forexample, by being a member of a nouveaux-riches pilot`s community,Bangley becomes highly insecure of his surrounding as he is forced toprotect his territory physically and emotionally. Because of this, heresorts to the art of bullying Hig in a bid to identify his key pointof weakness that he can use to ensure the full protection of histerritory.

Bythis, it is openly evident that while Cima and her father viewedintruders into their territory as a blessing and opportunity toenhance their survival, Hig, and his only neighbor Bangley seeintruders into their territory as enemies who equally disrupted theirgeneral sense of emotional wellbeing. That is, while Cima and herfather find a sense of comfort when Hig intrude into their territory,Hig and Bangley are faced with an increased feeling of insecuritytowards those who try approaching the airport in which they stay. Thefear is because of the two Hig and Bangley, who only focus theirattention on their individual survival.

Howthe View Differ In Pre-Apocalyptic World

Theview help by Cima and her father openly differs from what it wouldlikely be in a pre-apocalyptic world due to their ability to maintaina sense of humanity despite the harsh economic and climaticconditions. For example, instead of scaring away intruders andsafeguarding their territory in a bid to ensure their increasedsurvival within the world, they openly welcome and accommodate Higwithin their territory. That is, while the world was struggling tokeep Abbey due to the scarcity of food that resulted in the growthand development of cannibalism. Cima and her father were comfortablyliving in a hidden valley with a small garden with a few animals andinstead of killing Big Hig they welcome and accommodate him in theirlittle haven.

Insummary, it is evidently clear that the inability of Cima and herfather to project a sense of struggle for survival during this perioddiffers from the real scene of a pre-apocalyptic world. The erarepresents a period when the world was infested with a deadly flupandemic that wiped away a significant number of the world`spopulation. The global climate change affected the fertility of theland. In a pre-apocalyptic world individuals struggle to survive andkeep safe in a world that has been infected and affected by a suddenand unexpected catastrophe.


Heller,Peter. The Dog Star. VintageContemporaries.Vintage Books: Reprint Edition, p.1-278, 2013. Print.