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Monsters Are Due On Maple Street Analysis Essay

Fearful of Former Friends In our minds, we think that we would never get so fearful and paranoid that we would turn on each other and start to attack each other, all due to the paranoia. Well, we don’t know ourselves to well, then. In the teleplays [Rod Serling’s “Monsters are due on Maple Street” and its 2003 remake “The Monsters on Maple Street”] it tells that we would turn on each other and attack, just out of fear. The claim both stories try to get across is fear of the unknown can cause people to turn on each other. Sadly, under circumstances that are abnormal, we people may et suspicious of each other, which leads to our downfall.

In the first teleplay “Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” [made in 1960], the story tells of how fear can drive a peaceful suburban neighborhood, where all the neighbors are mostly good friends, to the brink of madness and the destruction of property, killing of people, and the most paranoid of finger-pointing. It all starts out as a peaceful neighborhood, where everyone is doing normal, suburban things. Then, suddenly, a supposed “meteor” soars through the sky. People are confused by this, but they go on with their lives. Soon, though, the neighbors find that nothing lectrical works.

Their cars, radios, lights in their houses, and more, are all down. Two neighbors named Steve and Charlie try to go downtown and see if they can get the situation sorted out with the police. A boy named Tommy, however, warns them not to. Then Tommy goes to explain a story of how aliens could be behind this whole ordeal. Tommy says the aliens sent down others that look like humans, but aren’t. People shrug it off at first, but as the story goes on, they slowly start believing in it. Then, Les Goodman attempts to turn his car on. It doesn’t work, so he asks the people what’s going on. As he walks towards them, his car miraculously turn on!

People are surprised by this, and then they get suspicious. “How did Les Goodman’s car start? ” they ask themselves. One woman tells of how Les Goodman stays up at night, looking at the stars, as if he were waiting for something. That sets people off, and they use Les as a scapegoat. Goodman tries to explain that he just has insomnia, but the people seem to go deaf with fear. Les Goodman says it best “You fools, you scared, frightened rabbits, you. ” As the story goes on, more and more people get suspicious. Charlie, being the leader of the suspicious people, tarts to say that everyone isn’t above suspicion [which also includes him].

In reaction to this, Steve [the voice of reason] tells of how they shouldn’t blame each other, and he tries to separate the mob. Steve is interrupted by Charlie who points at a dark figure heading towards them. Don pulls out a shotgun, and Charlie [out of fear] shoots the figure, and the figure lies dead. As the group huddles around the fallen body, the gasp as they find out it was their neighbor, Pete Van Horn, who was going down to Floral Street to see if their power was off. This is a plot complication. This is where things start to get hectic.

People notice Charlie’s house lights are on as well, so they chase after him, and start throwing rocks at him and his home. At random, other people’s houses have their lights turn on, which shift the blame. People are so fearful and confused that ultimately, they just start attacking each other. It is later revealed that aliens were behind it, and they just used fear of the unknown to make people attack each other, without even touching them. It’s just like the narrator said: “For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own.

The 2003 remake of the teleplay [named “The Monsters on Maple Street”] is slightly like the original, but with a few major differences. It most likely starts with a meteor, and that meteor turns off all technology. Everyone is worried about this, and it gets worse when Jason says that this event is just like Independence Day [blaming aliens]. But unlike the original, people shoot that idea down. Instead, Phyllis says terrorists could be planning an invasion [which is a lot more believable, given the time period]. Dylan [Charlie’s equivalent] boosts this fear by saying that the terrorists could be going for the reservoir.

People look down the street, at the house where a family moved in [I’ll call them the newbies]. The people of Maple Street get suspicious, and Will [Steve’s equivalent] and Dylan go to check it out. The family doesn’t open the door. So they head back. Later, the father of the family returns, in his car [also the lights in the house of the newbies are on], so Will goes to talk to the father. When Will comes back and the group asks how it went, Will says they aren’t terrorists. When the family asked if they should come outside, Will said no. Dylan, being the ringleader of the suspicion, points a gun at Will’s head, thinking e is the terrorist.

Will makes a speech about that any of them could be terrorists, and that the terrorists are using their fear so they can mistrust each other, and then attack each other. Instead of continuing to finger point, the people know that he is right, and they calm down a little. That is until Jason finds a spy camera hanging in their house. Soon, all the residents find the cameras at their homes too. The blame is back on, and everyone is too riled up to be quelled. They all head for the newbie’s house, despite Will’s pleads, and attack the newbie house [most likely killing the family inside].

This is all an experiment by the military to see how long a neighborhood would last against a perceived terrorist attack. I feel like the 1960 version used the claim a little stronger, because the residents in the 2003 version didn’t attack each other, they more like attack a house, and the residents didn’t know the people too well. But still, fear of the unknown [terrorists] can cause destruction and murder. Because this version is more modern, they use technology a lot more. Because nowadays we have technology everywhere around us, I shudder to think what would happen if this were to happen real time.

In the end, the message here is clear: fear of the unknown can lead people to become mad and do terrible and unforgivable things. In the ’60s version, the residents of Maple Street were probably once good friends. Then fear took over their minds, which lead to them attacking, and even killing, one another. In the 2003 remake, the people were rather collected and one big group. Then when the thought of terrorism was raised, people sought a scapegoat, which ended up with them destroying a house, and probably killing the family inside. The true monsters on Maple Street, were in fact, themselves.

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