Gender and Ethnicity in Post-Apocalyptic Suburbia

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This essay looks at the iconic science fiction texts The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham and I Am Legend (1954) by Richard Matheson, as well as their first film adaptations (respectively 1962 and 1964). In these works, the changes surrounding urban and suburban areas in postwar Britain and America manifest in the portrayal of their "last man" protagonists, who struggle to assert their dominance while fearing independent women and a "dark" and threatening Other. Despite the established scholarly narrative suggesting a flourishing of British and American suburban development immediately after the Second World War, these texts demonstrate how tensions developed within these communities as white males reacted to the gradual refiguring of gender and racial dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-434
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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