I Am Legend (1954) is considered by many to be a founding text in modern post-apocalyptic narrative, setting up plot, character, and thematic motifs familiar to the explosion of similar post-World War II narratives of apocalypse and survival. While the novella anticipates these texts, it also draws on earlier narratives and genres – – amongst others, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, pulp stories about monsters and aliens, tales of suburban life, and even the existentialist movement in philosophy and culture. As you read through the novella, here are some things to keep track of: what is the relationship between “now” and “then”? what kind of protagonist is Robert Neville? what are the elements of the post-apocalyptic setting? how are enemies or threats or “others” delineated in relation to the hero and his goals and struggle? what kind of social bonds operate in the post-apocalyptic world?
After you’ve read the first two parts of the novella – – up to Chapter 14 – – answer the questions in the writing event below. You’ll have to log in to participate. The password is “Legend” (w/o quotes). Try to finish your assignment by today (2/2) at midnight.