Isaac Asimov’s “Nightfall”

Ms. Gokturk


GROUP WORK: Analysis of “Nightfall”& Contemplation


Please work as a group to review the story and find text-based evidence (TBE) to support your responses. Answer your group question.  All members of the group should answer the question in their individual notebooks.  [If you were absent, choose two questions and answer them on your own.]



a.       How is religion portrayed in this story?

b.       How is science portrayed?

c.       Compare and contrast what we think about each after reading this tale of “doom.”


GROUP 2        THEME(S)

a. What is Asimov’s message(s)? What is he saying about human nature? Find three passages that best illustrate the theme of this work. Be prepared to defend each passage as being central to understanding this piece.



a.                          The cycle is about to end/begin and how mankind copes it with it will determine what happens in the next 2050 years. How are Aton, Theremon, Latimer, and Sheerin characterized.

b.                          How does each impact what will happen in the next cycle?



a.                          Lagash is a cyclic world. There are hints throughout the story as to what causes civilization to keep repeating itself. Find the text based evidence that makes this an ourobouros story. Consider the scientists, the cultists, fire, stars, and the Hideout. Was their fate inevitable?

b.                          THEORIZE: What “evidence” from the real world makes Earth resemble Lagash?



a.       Explain the significance of the “Book of Revelations” to the Lagashian world. What role does it play in this cycle? Does the Book make it through each cycle? Find evidence.

b.       How is this story an “apocalyptic” text?


Revelation: An act of revealing or communicating divine truth. Often, it is something that is revealed by God to humans an act of revealing to view or making known: an enlightening or astonishing disclosure. 

Apocalypse: From Greek apo + kalypsos--literally, an uncovering or unveiling. Because of associations with the final book of the Christian Bible, known either as the Apocalypse of St. John or the Book of Revelation, "apocalyptic" carries connotations of universal cataclysm as well as the disclosure of mysteries. More generally, an apocalypse is a religious or secular depiction of the world's end.



a.                          The story provides several clues as to what those in the hideout will do in the next cycle. Consider: What will happen right after “the end” to the Hideout people? Provide evidence from the story to validate your hypothesis.

b.                          What will happen right after “the end” to those not in the Hideout? Provide evidence from the story to validate your hypothesis.