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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 144

The bodysnatchers are ultimately defeated through the efforts of indomitable spirits like the protagonist Miles Bennell. The pod-creatures flee when they realize that human beings will fight, even against hopeless odds, rather than surrender their individuality and that distinct quality of human life: the ability to feel passion and care intensely. The novel's most explicit theme is its praise of American self-reliance and hardiness. The same spirit that enabled Americans to survive the Depression and to defeat the Axis powers in World War II overcomes an alien invasion.

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Another theme of the novel is the way that small-town life nourishes the spirit of the individual and strengthens him to stand up to terrifying threats. Finney lovingly depicts the appearance, the populace, and the values of the small town. He draws attention to the ways buildings are constructed, streets are laid out, and people converse.

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