Or, The Book of Dystopia
What Cousin de Grainville explores in The Last Man is an imagining of the time just before the final time before the end of the world, where all empires had crumbled and people huddled together to try and eke out a meager existence. Grainville certainly knew his audience. This is, unmistakably, the definition of a dystopian future, including the Glimmer of Hope: the fact that Omegarus is the last man on earth who has the capability to save the earth (Grainville 16). The genre of ‘dystopian future’ is still being explored to this day, but with an entirely different context and goal.
Modern dystopian novels have the context of a futuristic land with advanced technology that can’t work and a permeating sense of dread and defeatism. The goal of most modern dystopian novels, arguably, is to stave off the end of the world. The Last Man has the same goal (at first), but an entirely different context: a land where God has been abandoned, not technology. Grainville entreats the reader that only trusting God will bring about what humanity deserves: the end of the world, just as the Book of Revelations said. Untill page 100, when Omegarus accepts the fact that the world is truly destined to end, does the book change from a dystopian novel to an apocolyptic one. This is also when the true goal of the novel is revealed: obey the word of God and let the world end.
This is something that most modern dystopian novels try to avoid; the end of the world invalidates all the hard work that humanity has done. In Grainville’s view, however, what better reward is there besides God’s loving embrace?