A Canticle for Leibowitz By: Justine Gandia-Jackson
Fiat Homo • The book is divided into three canticles that tell three different stories and time periods after the nuclear war. • This novel is dystopic because the first canticle takes place years after a nuclear war referred to as the Fire Deluge. • The world is left as a vast desert showing harsh conditions instead of wealthy community. • There are some survivors, but most people have become disfigured mutants known as the Pope’s children because a law was passed to recognize any person born as worth keeping alive.
Cont. • This is the age after the Simplification, which eliminated all books and intelligent figures to prevent war. • This caused people to become illiterate and violent towards others. • Any books or papers of knowledge remaining are preserved by the churches that are no longer attacked, but these documents are rarely understood or put to use. • Francis of Utah tries to prove a bookkeeper Leibowitz should be named a saint.
Simplification • Bookkeepers were an order of people during the Simplification that tried to hide books to preserve knowledge for future generations. • There were also people who would memorize pages in case the books were found and destroyed.
Fiat Lux • In the year 3174, war becomes evident so the illiterate ruler Hannegan can unite the continent under one dynasty. • His cousin Thon Thaddeo meets with the church of the Order of Leibowitz to study their archives of lost technology. • He is shown a lamp that runs on electricity that was developed showing the slow revival of knowledge among people. • After the war a temporary agreement was formed and broken between the states of Denver and Texarkana.
Fiat Voluntas Tua • In the year 3781, spaceships were invented again, but there was the threat of nuclear war. • The chapter begins with an interview discussing a bomb that fell over the Atlantic, which wasn’t authorized. • People once again suffer from high radiation after the attack on the capital. • The hopeless cases are sent to be cremated, which goes against the Utopian belief of life without war or disease.
The Order of Leibowitz plans to send the Memorabilia, a book that holds any original documents of information. • Children and priests will be sent into space as the new hope for man in case one day it is habitable again. • In the end, a nuclear bomb is dropped and the earth is set ablaze as the spaceship takes off.