Friday, June 25, 2010

Yet ANOTHER Summer Book Report

The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (The Twilight Zone) The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Our English teacher had us read this as a short story back in 7th grade. I've always felt that it had a powerful message about human nature and paranoia. I suspect since Rod Serling wrote it in 1959/60 it probably is a thinly veiled commentary on the "Red Scare" of cold war McArthyism not unlike the Arthur Miller's 1953 play "The Crucible" about the Salem witch trials of the 1600's. I'm convinced that 50's and 60's horror movies, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the original zombie flick, Night of the Living Dead were too- conformity, political pressure, anxiety, mistrust- you name it. So... I feel like 'Monsters on Maple Street' is as meaningful for our times today, as it was 50 years ago (hyper-partisanship, terrorism, jingoism, xenophobia...)the more things change, the more they stay the same. At any rate, I thought it would be a good addition to my classroom library for Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time (Which I happen to have with 7th graders). And to my 7th and 8th Grade English Teachers, Mr. Hodgson and Mr. Harmon- Thanks for turning me on to the likes of Rod Serling, Gene Rodenberry, George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. What a legacy!

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