The Last Town on Earth - Analysis

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“Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law… (14th Amendment).” Originally considered a reconstruction amendment, the 14th addition gave way to much controversy among the free world. Questions arose and the choices of man were now under the magnifying glass of those sacred words. In Thomas Mullen’s The Last Town on Earth, a sequence of inevitable choices revolving the town’s fate versus the soldiers’ fates command multiple characters to refuel the boundless argument between right and wrong regarding the issue of human rights. The opening of the novel is not hesitant to the idea of dramatic consequence when choices are made. As the flu of 1918 raged throughout the country and deepened its roots within the Northwest; the residents of Commonwealth are forced to make a decision that will judge the fate of their Washington based society. Charles, the founder and chief representative for the small lumber town, proposes the first controversial issue when he states his case in the beginning of the novel: “…only way not to get sick is to prevent the flu from getting into Commonwealth.’…‘I propose we close the town to outsiders and halt all trips out of town… ‘No one leaves Commonwealth, and no one comes in…(Mullen, 20).” This quarantine passed with a seemingly large percentage of pro-quarantine votes; however, another point of view can also raise questions of not only the physical right to safety, but economical side in a capitalist sense. Charles reassures the lumber mill workers by explaining the situation in business terms: “…we have enough provisions to keep the town closed off for nearly two months… that means not selling any lumber until we reopen the town…”(Mullen, 21). Extreme measures are taken to ensure no transference of the flu. Charles glazes over the topic, as if there would not be complications in

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