Richard Matheson 's ' I Am Legend '

1154 WordsMar 29, 20175 Pages
In I am Legend, Richard Matheson depicted Robert Neville as another man in another life before the plague broke out. He was a father and a husband. Your average joe working a blue collar job in the 1950 's, facts of life that change for him once the plague took hold of humanity. He created a safe-guarded sanctuary for himself within his own home fortified by garlic and crosses from the vampires who dominated the fallen world outside. Solitude was his only companion. Society provided Neville with support, structure, morals, and a community. With the fall of society, Neville priorities had changed. He had changed. Whilst the novel appears to focus heavily on alienation, Matheson perhaps also meant to depict another underlying plot theme. The…show more content…
When Ruth questions him as to why he kill, he responds with: “Only to-to survive.” (Matheson 166). An iconic lone ranger, refusing to surrender to a greater power comes into mind, an image created by culture, of a hero. Due to Neville 's perspective, people want to identify with heroes like Neville and oppose villains like the vampires or the Soviet Union. Cohen argued, monsters have the ability to illuminate the secrets of the era. Monsters may have the ability to shed light on secrets of the era. Throughout many instances in history, both sides of war believe they are right. Both sides ultimately demonize one another. However, history is ultimately written by its victor, as one side will eventually win. Only one will go on to tell the 'story ' to the world. The plague had devastated the human population and the vampires overrun the world now. Robert Neville, being on the other side of this war, had lost. As the by-product of this new world, he challenged the vampires ' views. In Cohen’s first thesis, the monsters are said to be born out of a particular “time, a feeling, and a place” and exist as “pure culture”. The monsters, being a product of its time, represent the views of the people of that era, but they can also challenge the public 's view. Robert was their monster. He served to reinterpret parts of this new society. The monsters and the views they represent linger in the mind of their creators and
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