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Terminal Beach - “white leviathan.” Traven rejects this...

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Daniel Pearson Ms. Shackelford Journal Entry The Terminal Beach – The Fly “The Terminal Beach” by J. G. Ballard follows a man named Traven, disgruntled by the deaths of his wife and child, as he allows himself to decay on the nuclear test island Eniwetok. Through the philosophical conversation between Traven and Doctor Yasuda concerning a fly, Ballard provides a hopeless outlook on life paralleled by Traven’s hopeless existence on Eniwetok. Traven arrives on Eniwetok bringing only the clothes on his back and a chocolate bar. After moping around for days and nearing death, he stumbles upon a fly on a Japanese doctor’s corpse. Deciding not to kill the fly, Traven converses with the doctor. The doctor stresses a “philosophy of acceptance” instead of searching for meaning in life, which Yasuda refers to as a
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Unformatted text preview: “white leviathan.” Traven rejects this philosophy, stating that “[i]t doesn’t really solve [his] problem.” Yasuda orders him to kill the fly, and Traven consents hopelessly, symbolizing his nihilistic standpoint of a fruitless existence. Even before his arrival, Traven had come to terms with this viewpoint, evinced by the fact that only item he brought was a chocolate bar. Had he any real intentions of establishing a purposeful existence on Eniwetok, he would have brought actual supplies. The deaths of his wife and son haunt him, following him throughout his journey on the island until the moment of his death in which he hopelessly concedes to death. Perhaps, he permits himself to imagine, they will speak to him after he resigns from his current futile subsistence....
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