Randy Bragg In Alas Babylon Essay, Research Paper
Randy Bragg, the protagonist of Pat Frank s Alas, Babylon, is a young man who really
has no direction in life when he is first introduced in the novel. He has a casual approach
to life and cares more about himself than anyone or anything else. After The Day ,
however, Randy learns to care more about the well-being of the community and becomes
a selfless hero. This is shown through his realization of the problem at hand, his
take-charge attitude, and the growing love for his new family .
In the novel, Randy is one of the first characters to realize after The Day , the
only way to survive is to discard his casual approach to life and totally reinvent himself.
The way of American life disintegrates before his eyes: food vanishes, gasoline becomes
gold, money is worthless paper, and banks are no longer significant. Abandoned pets
start behaving like wild animals, vicious gangs spring up on the roads, and nearby towns
become sinkholes of disease. Randy realizes that something must be done to keep his
friends and neighbors alive.
Because of his realization, Randy is well-prepared for almost anything to go
wrong. After attacks from the highwaymen, who steal from and kill people around the
community just because they can, Randy puts together and heads a regiment of troupes to
protect the community of River Road and Fort Repose. He comes up with a way to
eliminate the highwaymen. Also, when a man dies from contamination of radioactive
jewelry, Randy knows that it is a threat to his community and that leaving the dead
unburied could be inviting an epidemic . He decides to ask for help burying the man at
the town square, which has become the area of trade in Fort Repose. None of the men in
the square seem concerned with helping with the burial, so Randy persuades them by
threatening the men with a gun. In taking charge like this, Randy takes care of and
becomes the leader of his community.
Throughout the novel, the survivors of River Street, although very different
people, become very close. Randy, who has never cared much about anyone, finds
himself caring a lot about the people who are involved in his life as a result of the war.
These people, in a way, become his family , and he learns to really care for them.
When the rescue helicopter finally comes at the end of the novel, Randy realizes that
this [is] Randy s town and these [are] his people and he [knows] he will not leave
At the beginning of the novel, Randy Bragg does not care for too much or have a
very important role in life. By the end of the novel, however, he has become the leader
of his community and found a new family in his neighbors and fellow survivors. Randy
Bragg is truly a changed man.