Diary of an Interesting Year

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Global warming has been a strong presence in the social debate for the last couple of years. Many people, both politicians, experts and regular citizens, seem to have many different opinions about the severity of global warming. The United Nations held a climate change conference, commonly known as COP15, in Denmark in 2009 as an attempt to adopt a plan of action. In that connection Helen Simpson wrote the short story “Diary of an Interesting Year” for the American magazine The New Yorker. “Diary of an Interesting Year” is a humorous post-apocalyptic story that begins in February 2040 from where it extends over nearly one year where the reader gains an insight into a world that has sustained the severe consequences of the global warming. Through her diary we follow the narrator who is a thirty-year-old woman living in a small town in Britain together with her husband, who she refers to as “G.”. The global warming has caused a “Big Melt” that has made it very difficult to live in Britain; the air is humid and contaminated, there are rats everywhere, they can only eat canned food and eight discourteous Spanish people are lodged by the military in their small house. They decide to flee on their bike, but after two months on the run G. is killed by a perverted murderer referred to as “M.”. From the beginning of the story and as it develops, it becomes very clear that there is a lot of tension between the narrator and G.. She has married her older tutor from the university and it can seem as though she regrets it in these disastrous times. G.’s attitude is very supercilious and he claims that he saw it all coming: “”…any fool could see it coming, especially after the Big Melt,” he brags”. The narrator is clearly infuriated with the fact that G. is such a know-it-all and perhaps she is even more annoyed that he was in fact right about it all: “O.K., yes, he was right, but why crow about it?” In spite of their differences, the narrator and G....
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