I Am Legend, Matheson's Novel In The Cinema

These days, in the cinemas, you can watch "I am legend", directed by Francis Lawrence, and starring by Will Smith.

The movie is based on a science-fiction novel by Richard Matheson, edited in 1954.

The story is about an epidemic that spreads all over the globe, and its symptoms are something similar to vampirism (if you are curious about vampirism, read this article).

The protagonist of the book is Robert Neville. Neville tries to bear the best that he can the fight against loneliness and madness. Although it may seem a story of vampires, it's much more than that.

"I am legend" is about how someone stops from being normal and becomes a monster. It suggest you many questions.

For example, if an entire village is mad and only one citizen is sane, won't be the sane a madman?
In an ancient cannibal tribe, did they consider each other as psychopaths? Or only those who watch them from the outside?

Does a pathologic habit stops from being sick or bad when it becomes popular?
Or are Good and Bad something absolutely pure and independent from society and culture?

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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Tony said...

I think that, in the novel, it's not a matter about that they think themselves as normal. It has more to do with the difference. Neville is different and they fear him.

And yes, it's like when all people drink too much or smoke a lot... shared vices are not seen as vices. So when all people do the same thing, they forgive each other for doing that.

So I agree with most of what you suggest. Maybe others may have another viewpoint. This is an interesting debate.

Sam said...

I think that the novel is better.
In addition, I think that it's a story that makes you think about what is terrifying or what is considered bad, like you said.
But I think they don't hate him for being strange, but for being dangerous for them.

Harry Plotter said...

I think they hate the main character 'cos he has shorter fangs! LOL

Emma Alvarez said...

I agree. I never understood why people fear the different. I am curious for what is different, I don't see it as a negative thing.

Emma Alvarez said...

LOL PLotter so is a fangs issue...

Sam, interesting. But I think it goes beyond that. I think it is something that has to do with the human essence.

Anonymous said...

I read "I am Legend" once, many years ago, but it has stayed with me. My first thought is that the hero is, quite simply, psychotic. His systematic killing of vampires seems independent of his efforts to defend himself. His real motivation seems to be to take as many vampires as he can with him before he dies himself. After recently studying undead folklore, I think the novel presents a role reversal: In tradition, it is one or a few vampires that terrorize a community, but in the novel, it is the lone living man who terrorizes the vampires.

andiebates said...

I watched this movie 2 weeks ago. It has really affected me. I don't buy the concept of people turning into Vamps from some cancer cure. It would take far longer than 3 years and 10,000 case studies for it to mutate to that degree. But the solidarity that Robert was going through...New York, totally void of human life. Lions wandering the streets looking to feed their young...back to primitive days for all the earths creatures. I have had numerous dreams of this movie...being attacked by the dark seekers, hiding from them, hunting them, walking the streets trying to find another human alive. What a powerful movie. The parts that really stuck in my head were the comics on the DVD. HOLY CRAP that was intense and very frighteneing....the girl from Hong Kong that threw herslef off a bridge, the father that locked the daughter out of the vault for seeing her infected BF and then her brother opens the door and the entire family is killed by the dark seekers....the first aid tent in South AMerica...then the government comes in and kills them all. Scary, food for thought, and WOW! I will go buy the book now and read it, i'm hoping there will be more information about the characters and more in depth story line. i rate this movie a 10 /10.

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