8 Quotes From 'Z For Zachariah' That Show It's The Scariest Apocalypse You Could Imagine
Margot Robbie stars in the new science fiction thriller Z for Zachariah , in which a young woman finds herself entangled in a messy interpersonal conflict with two men. It's a love triangle story, but with a major twist: the action is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the characters are fighting not just for each other's hearts but for mere survival. The movie is based on Robert C. O'Brien's 1974 novel of the same name, and these eight Z for Zachariah quotes, below, show how it's an exploration of the volatile, untrusting relationship between two people in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear war. Unlike other popular books featuring young women in survival situations (Divergent, The Hunger Games, etc.), Z for Zachariah offers no notions of romance to distract from the horrors of a post-apocalyptic world —and the one that it shows us is particularly bleak.
Here are some quotes from the book to show that Ann's situation in Z for Zachariah is definitely the scariest apocalypse possibility:
1. "I have climbed the hills on all sides of this valley, and at the top I have climbed a tree. When I look beyond, I see that all the trees are dead, and there is no sign of anything moving. I don't go out there."
Ann is living in a valley surrounded by a world of death. She has no idea if anywhere else on earth has been spared from the radiation the way that the valley has, so she can't risk leaving. Basically, she's trapped.
2. "That time, last year, [smoke] rose in a cloud a long way away, and stayed in the sky for two weeks."
With little else to occupy her, Ann has plenty of time on her hands to reflect on the war that killed everything she knew and loved. And she spends every second of every day dealing with the aftermath.
3. "[Burden Creek] flows into the valley out of a sort of cleft in the rock ridge to the left of Burden Hill--the water comes from outside, and it was poisoned."
Remember how I said the valley is safe from radiation? Well, the one exception is a contaminated creek that flows through it. Poisonous water source, NBD.
4. "Faro was swimming in Burden Creek. He had found my scent but, instead of following my trail on the rocks, he had plunged into the water....He slept beside me all night and was sick in the morning...by nightfall he was dead."
UGH. Faro is Ann's dog and only trustworthy companion, and while trying to find her, he swims through the poisonous creek and then dies. Really, apocalypse? It wasn't enough just to destroy the outside world; you had to go all Marley and Me on Ann, too?
5. "I thought writing in it might be like having someone to talk to, and if I read it back later it would be like someone talking to me.... But most of the time I didn't write...what's the use of writing anyway, when nobody is ever going to read it."
Ann starts a diary to deal with her crippling loneliness, but then realizes the futility of it because she's pretty sure that things are going to stay like this forever. If you're someone who gets lonely when you don't get a text for a couple of hours, just imagine what it'd be like if there wasn't even anybody left to text.
6. "I watched the road all day and most of the night hoping that a car, , would come over the hill from either direction....Then the weeks went by and the radio stations went off, one by one. When the last one went off and stayed off, it came to me, finally, that nobody, no car, was ever going to come."
See what I mean? If there's one thing worse then being stuck alone in a post-apocalyptic world, it's being stuck there with the belief that you're never going to get out or have another chance at real life. So. Depressing.
7. "I was pretty sure I was the only person left in the world....Now that somebody is here, the thought of going back, the thought of the house and the valley being empty again--this time forever, I am sure of that--seems so terrible I cannot bear it."
Before Loomis shows up, Ann is entirely alone in the world. So when he comes around, she is desperate for his companionship even though she's wary of him. Picture FOMO times a thousand.
8. "I've also remembered how I found the book that night when I went back to the cave after he had burned my things. That memory stirs my harshest feelings toward Mr. Loomis.... I admit that I want to hurt him, and cause him grief. He deliberately ruined the thing I prized most."
JK, it turns out that Loomis is pretty evil. So the worst thing in the world isn't being stuck in a post-apocalyptic universe alone, or being stuck there alone with the belief that you're never going to get out. Instead, it's being stuck there with a crazy evil scientist who destroys all your stuff. Awesome.
So basically, things are pretty bleak in Ann's world. It's interesting to see how this world translates to film, especially with the fantastic Margot Robbie as the lead. But for a real taste of all the scary apocalyptic possibilities, give Z for Zachariah a read first!
Images: Roadside Attractions, Giphy (8)