What is the setting for the book I Am Legend?

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The book "I Am Legend " is a post-apocalyptic tale set in Los Angeles, California in the late 1960's. The novel has several important points of departure from the movie, in that the disease's effect essentially make people vampires (in the traditional sense, affected by mirrors, garlic, and crucifixes),...

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The book "I Am Legend" is a post-apocalyptic tale set in Los Angeles, California in the late 1960's. The novel has several important points of departure from the movie, in that the disease's effect essentially make people vampires (in the traditional sense, affected by mirrors, garlic, and crucifixes), whereas in the film, the people are turned into zombie-like creatures, risen from the dead. Additionally, the cataclysm that created the disease is a different one. In the novel, a massive war created this mutation that was spread around the globe by mosquitoes and dust clouds, as opposed to being an intentional cure for cancer.

The main character is isolated and living by himself in Los Angeles after the epidemic has struck. The setting takes place throughout the streets of Los Angeles and in his barricaded home.

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In a literary work, setting encompasses the time and place in which the narrative has been set.

In I am Legend, the story occurs in Los Angeles and covers the length of time from 1976 to 1979. Most of the action centers around Cimarron Street. This is where Robert Neville, the protagonist lives. We first read about Cimarron Street when Robert spies a dog and excitedly calls out to him. The dog is walking down the street. This is the first time Robert has seen a living being that isn't a vampire-zombie. So, he happily lays out milk and hamburger for the dog.

Later, he acquires dog biscuits and dog candy as well as an array of dog cleaning supplies. Eventually, with great patience, Robert manages to win the dog's trust. As stated, most of the action in the novel occurs on Robert's property on Cimarron Street. On one rare occasion, our protagonist decides to leave the "house he hate[s]." He gets into his station wagon and heads for Compton Boulevard. Later, he visits his dead wife's crypt at the cemetery.

In Chapter 10, Robert visits the Los Angeles Public Library. The date given is April 7th, 1976. There, Robert researches how the plague could have afflicted so many in so short a time. He theorizes that a virus or a type of bacteria likely facilitated the pandemic.

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Richard Matheson's I am Legend has been made into several movies, including the recent Will Smith movie, and The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price. The book itself is set in Los Angeles, CA, in 1976. As the enotes link reference below explains in great detail, though, the year itself is not particularly important--it is post World War II, which is all that really matters. Fears of atomic and biological warfare during the time Matheson wrote the book, as well as the fear of communism making everyone the same, drive the book. Robert Neville, the main character, is one of, if not the only, remaining human being on the Earth. All the rest of the humanoid characters have been changed by some sort of plague to become vampire-like creatures. The book takes place largely in Neville's house, where he barricades himself and conducts experiments on ways either to destroy, or "cure" the vampires. In the book, and in the Vincent Price movie, it finally becomes clear to him that he, Neville, is not only the one who is now different, but that he is feared as a destroyer of the new type of humans that now inhabit the world. I have been told that this was an alternate ending shot for the Will Smith movie, but that audiences preferred the happier, humans-will-continue ending that was used.

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