Superstition & Science. Robert Neville’s endeavor to cure the vampire plague becomes his driving obsession in Matheson’s I Am Legend. In order to better understand the creatures and the bacilli, he must use inductive reasoning and gather evidence about his nocturnal tormentors.
Likewise, to better understand what societal fears a particular monster embodies, it becomes necessary to gather information about them.
Part 1: Summary. (1 page) As you read I Am Legend, keep track of Nevilleâ€™s discoveries regarding the vampires with particular attention to the vampiresâ€™ peculiar attributes, behaviors, and shortcomings (not to mention the way Neville discusses them), keeping in mind the disparity between Nevilleâ€™s superstitious speculations and empirical discoveries. Once you have completed the novel, summarize what Neville and the reader actually know about the vampires.
Part 2: Argument. (3 pages) After you have composed your summary, review the 1940s and 1950s timelines posted under Bookmarks on Campus Cruiser. Based on the information provided, what connections can you make regarding the vampires and the potential fears of the American public in 1954? Write an argument supporting your claims/position.
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