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Tommy claims to have read a science fiction story very similar to their current predicament, and he believes that aliens are responsible for the power outage, which they inflicted in order to ensure the residents stay on Maple Street.Furthermore, the aliens of the story had sent scouts to infiltrate the community prior to invasion. “A mother and a father and two kids who looked just like humans, but they weren’t!There, they fostered a sense of security based on traditional gender roles, consumerism, controlled sexuality, and childrearing.
The enduring nature of the series’ fan base is evidenced by the fact that it has been revived twice, once in 1989 and once in 2002; the fact that reruns still air on a daily basis on the Syfy channel and elsewhere; and the fact that critic was immediately convinced that the program would stand out among its peers, “In the desultory field of filmed half-hour drama, …Mr.
Serling should not have much trouble in making his mark.” Five years later, when Serling announced his departure from the world of television, the as the “disappearance of serious drama from television.”Serling’s work is a fascinating subject of study not just as a popular and critically acclaimed cultural product, but also — and especially — as a horror series.
Domestically, conformist culture produced a political climate marked by the use of middle-class, white, suburban families as the norm for social values.
Recent scholars like Elaine Tyler May have shown how Americans actively pursued a conformist lifestyle at home that celebrated the virtues of domesticity as a way of achieving a sense of security in what they perceived to be a growingly insecure world.
This way of life was characterized by affluence, located in suburbia, and epitomized by white middle-class nuclear families.
Increasing numbers of Americans gained access to this domestic ideal — but not everyone who aspired to it could achieve it.Cultural historian Warren Susman similarly argues that by the midpoint of the twentieth century, the United States had succeeded beyond expectation in shaping itself to the utopian vision originally laid out by politicians and academics in the previous century. By this point, Americans had already been using images of family life to represent their positive cultural values since the 1930’s, so it was only natural that they should use similar iconography to illustrate their perceived success: According to Susman, “In essence, one can represent the new affluent society collectively in the image of the happy suburban home.” During the postwar era, the American family dwelling was seen simultaneously as a “bulwark against the dangers of the cold war” and as the symbol of American capitalism’s triumph.
The aliens comment upon how predictable the whole ordeal has been. A tree-lined little world of front porch gliders, barbecues, the laughter of children and the bell of an ice cream vendor,” ().
One muses, “They pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it’s themselves. Through a number of key images and lines of dialogue, the episode presents its story as one not just of alien invasion, but also as one of domesticity corrupted by an outside force. By not giving a city or state, Serling is implying that this neighborhood could easily be in any suburban community across the country.
The last glimpse of the lamppost is filled with chaos, though, because the frame is filled with many people dashing back and forth without clear direction, and the music playing has a horrifying tone. In fact, when the aliens’ ship first arrives, the residents of Maple Street are quite literally interrupted in their fulfillment of domestic expectations; people are shown pausing from washing their cars or tending to their gardens (that is to say, tending to matters of the home) in order to look up at the flash of light when the aliens pass overhead ().
American audiences in 1960 would have been adequately perturbed by the notion of an outside force trying to disintegrate the bonds that held middle-class American society together.