The publication of this novel ended the four-year hiatus that followed The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966). I Will Fear No Evil marked a turning point for Robert A. Heinlein’s fiction. In it and in many subsequent novels, Heinlein concentrated on the interior lives of his characters and their relationships in small, self-defined communities.
Most of the story is told through dialogue, including much between Johann and Eunice. Most of the dialogue is conversational in style and tone, containing wisecracking humor and mock gruffness as well as many expressions of affection.
Almost all the scenes are set in small interior spaces” offices, suites, and, most of all, the inside of Johanns head. These settings convey the isolation felt by Johann prior to the transplant, an isolation imposed by his tremendous wealth and his poor health. He uses his second chance at life primarily to escape his loneliness, to love and be loved.
There is an explicit comparison made between Johann and the state of human society. Both are played out, with their best days behind them. Humanity has established a thriving colony on the Moon, however, and Johann, as Joan, manages to bear a child there. Johann believes that life has meaning and purpose. The novel demonstrates that the purpose of life is not to perpetuate itself but to bring new life into being, full of new hope. An interesting sidelight to the novel is that Heinlein had a rare...
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