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The Revolution of the Apocalyptic Myth

April 14, 2014 11:23 pm Category: Spring 2014 A+ / A-

By Ashley M. Ryan

We lived in an electric world. We relied on it for everything. And then the power went out. Everything stopped working. We weren’t prepared. Fear and confusion led to panic. The lucky ones made it out of the cities. The government collapsed. Militias took over, controlling the food supply and stockpiling weapons. We still don’t know why the power went out. But we’re hopeful that someone will come and light the way (Opening lines to J.J Abrams’ Revolution).

This paper critically examines J.J. Abrams’ post-apocalyptic television show Revolution from a mythic perspective. The television show’s plot displays a contrast between the traditional Christian apocalyptic myth and the new myth of the “human centered apocalypse.” The “human centered apocalypse” is a catastrophe that is manmade rather than God sent. This shift is seen in hegemonic struggle between those who believe in God and that He caused the apocalypse because humans “created an electronic Tower of Babel” and those who think that man created the apocalypse through his own devices. This power struggle between religious and non-religious views is a reflection of the increase in atheism/secular humanism in popular culture and the evolution of apocalyptic myth.

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