Organisms differ in their anatomical structures, environments, habits and qualities. But a commonality that all living organisms share is the desire to survive. Survival is necessary for the continuation of any species and obviously, necessary for life. “Survival of the fittest” is a theory that was introduced by Charles Darwin, but many American novels have proven that being the “fittest” is not the only component to survival. In novels, such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, one very important factor involved with survival is the bonds between people. William Glasser, an American psychiatrist that developed reality therapy and choice theory, stated that, “We are driven by five genetic needs:
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Rather than writing about how strong bonds encourage survival, Bradbury writes about how the lack of family and friendship leads to death. In the chapter titled “The Veldt”, a family becomes exclusively reliant on technology, particularly the two young children. The family becomes so reliant on the advanced technology in their home to the point that the parents and children begin to drift apart. Technology replaces the jobs and chores the parents would usually do, and eventually replaces them in the minds of the children as well. The children no longer consider their parents to have any meaning or relevance. The parents try to reconstruct the detached family by removing the technology that they were so dependent on, but the kids, having a better “relationship” with the technology than their parents, kill their parents. While the children survive, the lack of family bonds causes the parents to become little more than a memory to the children, if even that. Memories in general are a vital part of living. And as both McCarthy and Bradbury convey, memories are quite often reawakened as one approaches death. In The Road, the father is haunted by the memory of his wife before she was killed and as the world was perishing. The father tells his son that, “You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.” The father was troubled by memories of the past that he wished he could have done something to change or relive.