The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Kinshasa Highway Symbol Analysis

Kinshasa Highway Symbol Icon
Kinshasa Highway, which spans the width of the continent of Africa, symbolizes the dangers of globalization and innovation. Paved in the 1970s, the increased traffic on that road greatly facilitated and sped up the spread of HIV/AIDS. In fact, Preston goes so far as to rename Kinshasa Highway “AIDS Highway” for the large role that it played in the disease’s destructive toll on the human race. To Preston, Kinshasa Highway emblemizes an innovation that appeared useful and groundbreaking at the time, but ended up causing destruction and death as it helped the spread of a deadly virus. He uses Kinshasa Highway as a warning for his readers, meaning for us to understand that other elements of our modern world could easily be turned against us by ancient viruses.

Kinshasa Highway Quotes in The Hot Zone

The The Hot Zone quotes below all refer to the symbol of Kinshasa Highway. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of The Hot Zone published in 1999.
Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

When you begin probing into the origins of AIDS and Marburg, light fails and things go dark, but you sense hidden connections. Both viruses seem part of a pattern.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Kinshasa Highway
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 1 Quotes

The paving of Kinshasa Highway affected every person on earth, and turned out to be one of the most important events of the twentieth century. It has already cost at least ten million lives, with the likelihood that the ultimate number of human casualties will vastly exceed the deaths in the Second World War. In effect, I had witnessed a crucial event in the emergence of AIDS, the transformation of a thread of dirt into a ribbon of tar.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Kinshasa Highway
Page Number: 287
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Kinshasa Highway Symbol Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the symbol Kinshasa Highway appears in The Hot Zone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Something in the Forest
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
...began to infect humans. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, AIDS spread along the Kinshasa Highway , a new road that spans much of the width of Africa. HIV, Preston explains,... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1: Highway
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
...Rift valley. He adds that the road “is a segment of the AIDS highway, the Kinshasa Highway ,” a trans-African road along which HIV traveled when it first began to break out.... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
...the disease takes years to kill its human hosts. Preston connects the paving of the Kinshasa Highway with the spread of the disease, explaining that when he was young, the road was... (full context)