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Humanities: Nuclear War by Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove Essay

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Updated: Jan 10th, 2019

Nuclear war is the issue that has been discussed for a long period of time by a number of writers and researchers. It is not always easy to give a clear definition whether nuclear war is a pure negative or a pure positive aspect in human life, this is why it is always interesting to offer new ideas and introduce some captivating perspectives.

In this paper, the two works by different people will be analyzed in this paper to comprehend how nuclear war may influence the society. Herman Khan was an American futurist who promoted a lot the nuclear strategy that was spread in the United States of America. His On Thermonuclear is one of the most powerful books where the author makes an attempt to describe and evaluate the nature of nuclear war and its importance.

Another powerful work is created by Stanley Kubrick; it is the movie Dr. Strangelove where the idea of nuclear war is perfectly satirized from a variety of perspectives. These two authors even cooperated to introduce one powerful and effective idea, still, their standpoints seem to be rather different as the movie introduces the nuclear war as something absurd, and the book aims at describing the war as something inevitable and not as dangerous as many people usually think.

On Thermonuclear is the story about nuclear war and its possible effects on the society and the existing balance of power. In this book, the author underlines the fact that nuclear war is something that people could be ready for; still, when the time to experience the effects of the war comes, it turns out to be that people are not actually ready for such danger. Of course, society may recuperate after the war is over, however, it is so difficult to predict the outcomes and be sure about the true nature of war.

The most powerful issue in the book is probably author’s argument that this type of war may be unwinnable for people still possible. Though the book does not aim to promote the war, a number of critics accept such message as a kind of threat to society and social inability to control the events. The author wants to prove that people’s possibilities are great indeed, however, they are not always powerful to gain the desired control.

In his turn, Dr. Strangelove introduces another point of view where he admits that nuclear war is of accidental character and is considered to be a type of failure of deterrence. In spite of the possibility to explain that nuclear war does not have any positive outcomes and characteristic, this character tries to justify the creation of nuclear weapon and the necessity for the countries to have it in the arsenal.

In comparison to Khan, Dr. Strangelove understands that it is not always possible to control nuclear war, that the results will be dramatic for people, and that society should take more care of the conditions under which weapons are created and stored.

In general, the positions of both authors are clear enough: it is not right to promote the idea of nuclear war, still, the activities of government in different countries seem to be that terrible truth that bother many people.

There are no people who want to develop nuclear war, and each country tries to take the position with the help of which its citizens will be in safe; however, if someone makes a decision to start such kind of war, the vast majority of countries will be ready to use their nuclear weapon even without knowing how to use it properly. It is a comic as well as tragic situation that proves one thing: human possibilities are amazing, still, more control is required to benefit from these possibilities and knowledge.

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"Humanities: Nuclear War by Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove." IvyPanda, 10 Jan. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/humanities-nuclear-war-by-kahns-on-thermonuclear-war-and-kubricks-dr-strangelove/.

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IvyPanda. "Humanities: Nuclear War by Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove." January 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/humanities-nuclear-war-by-kahns-on-thermonuclear-war-and-kubricks-dr-strangelove/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Humanities: Nuclear War by Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove." January 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/humanities-nuclear-war-by-kahns-on-thermonuclear-war-and-kubricks-dr-strangelove/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Humanities: Nuclear War by Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove'. 10 January.

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