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Interpret Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the dangers of McCarthyism during the...

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harleyrm | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM via web

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Interpret Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the dangers of McCarthyism during the Cold War.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM (Answer #1)

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At its time of release, many saw the film as an example of the crusading McCarthy against the "zombie" Communists.  The small town doctor would be seen as McCarthy as the lone man against this band of non- feeling, subhumans who operate as a mass to threaten all of feeling humanity.  Yet, I tend to think that the way in which the film operates is more of a statement in which the dangers of McCarthyism during the Cold War are evident.

The body snatchers are rooted in "group think."  Their mission is to destroy anyone who opposes them.  Certainly, McCarthy and his committee would fit this description.  Differences were seen in oppositional light and the committee sought to "destroy" those who were different.  At the same time, I think that the lack of voice within the zombies is more reflective of the paranoia that McCarthy inspired amongst the public.  Many failed to voice opposition to what was happening, simply going along with the group, with the zombies who sought to detroy that which was "different."  The need to remain with the community at all costs and destroy the individual outsider became something that McCarthyism ended up representing to American History.  In these examples, the film represents more of McCarthy in terms of being a zombie than originally viewed at its release.

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