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. A Very American Apocalypse

. A Very American Apocalypse

Left Behind’s Neoliberal End-Times Vision

(p.97) 5. A Very American Apocalypse
Plotting Apocalypse
Jennie Chapman
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the depiction of money, social class, consumerism and the free market in Left Behind. In contrast to rapture novels of the early twentieth century, which lamented the rise of capitalism as a sure sign of the approaching apocalypse, Left Behind is fully immersed in, and indeed endorses, the logic of the market. Spending money is depicted as an act of individual freedom and agency, one that is increasingly important given the predetermined nature of history imagined in the novels. The characters not only place great import on having the means to purchase the best cars, technology, and gadgets, but also believe such purchases to be approved by God as necessary procurements for the battle against evil. The chapter also considers the depiction of social class and social capital in Left Behind, with a focus on the privileged status of its central protagonists.

Keywords:   Capitalism, Money, Social class, Free market, Consumerism

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