The short story “Time capsule found on the dead planet” by Margaret Atwood is set in a dystopian future, on planet Earth. The context of the story is that a future alien civilization lands on Earth, which is a dead planet and finds a brass time capsule in which the last human on Earth has recorded humanity’s history. When the time capsule is found, the planet is a wasteland devoid of life. It should be noted, however, that the planet is never once named. Although it is obvious from the information in the story that the writer is talking about Earth, this is never explicitly mentioned.

The information contained in the relic reveals that the planet has gone through several changes across the ages. In the first age, the setting is rather idyllic and welcoming for humans, plants, and animals alike: 

They were gods of many kinds, and goddesses as well. Sometimes they were cruel and drank our blood, but also they gave us rain and sunshine, favourable winds, good harvests, fertile animals, many children. A million birds flew over us then, a million fish swam in our seas. 

The image of the “juices” of the earth rolling down humans’ chins suggests that people saw themselves as one with nature ...

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