Name: Tutor: Course: Date: “I Am Legend” By Richard Matheson Part 1: Summary One man still stands in a world plagued by vampire-like creatures which were formerly animals and human beings. Robert Neville who resides in Los Angeles, was the last man standing after a pandemic swept through the earth causing victims to depict vampire-like symptoms…
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Neville discovered that the infected beings possessed both the human and vampire-like characteristics and only came out after dawn (Matheson 17). The other characteristic trait was that they could be repelled using garlic. It became a constant battle of survival for this resourceful man who had to go against extreme odds to get what he aspired. At one point Neville captured Ruth, a creature possessing both human and vampire characteristics and one that could go out during the day. Neville’s reaction was that there was nothing eye-catching about them during the day (Matheson 30). Neville was suspicious as to whether Ruth was truly human as she portrayed herself adding to the fact that she was opposed to killing of vampires. Ruth and Neville soon became companion to a point where it developed into a relationship. On his quest to identify the cure for the disease, Neville and the readers discovered that Ruth’s blood samples were indeed infected. Ruth left Neville and revealed that she lived in colony of people who were infected and planned to rebuild their lives. Given that Neville had formed a habit of killing many of Ruth’s kind, he only seems to be in their way and had to be converted before he destroyed her people. The novel concludes by depicting the final thoughts of Neville before he was executed. Part 2: Argument Using the evidence put into play by Richard Matheson, in connection with the 1940s and 1950s timelines, it is clear that there were universal human fears among the American public in 1954. The fear could also be directly linked to the existing, cultural conditions and existing custom of individual identity. From the timelines given, year 1940 to year 1954, it is clear that the American public was fearful of the Cold War and the effects it had on individuals, their health and social aspects. Vampires represented American’s xenophobic fear which manifested with time and was made worse with the onset of a few films made in New York for entertaining the Elite. Hence, most Americans were not fully reassured that the vampire syndrome would come to an end. The sale of surplus war material in 1940s posed a serious risk to the lives of Americans who were at war with other nations. Vampire-like symptoms can be indirectly compared to American public’s fear of the devastating physical changes, illness and decreasing faculties when exposed to biological war materials that were used by their enemies. The public was fearful of loss of individuality as a nation. The manifestation of decaying being that still lingered in the world can be compared to the individual fear of being incapable of recognizing and preventing oneself from encountering pain and suffering that was inflicted once a loved one was lost in the war. The drinking of blood as depicted in Matheson’s book, page 10, of Vampires’ craving to drink Neville’s blood represented the public’s fear of re-occurring problems which surfaced during the Second World War. It reprieved the public off its financial and emotional aspects of life. The compelling universal fears manifested in an average American’s mind in 1942 and 1943 where there were atomic bombs being developed as a form of weapon. This may be compared to the views of Americans in regard to Vampires in the society. When the world war two occurred, most countries were affected on a global scope and so was Neville’
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