Saturday, January 28, 2012

Invasion of the Body Snatchers related to Communism

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Communism Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a remarkable film, made in 156. Set in a small California town, residents seem to be suffering from a mass hysteria; various people feel that their relatives are not actually their relatives. Things start becoming more mysterious when Mile’s friend Jack finds an indistinct, motionless body in his house (on the pool table) that later vanishes. Jack and his wife, stay at Miles house, along with Miles friend Becky. At night in Miles greenhouse, the four of them discover giant pod seeds that start to develop identical copies of all of them. Jack and his wife leave to go get help, but they come back changed into emotionless replicas of their former selves. Most of the town has already been changed into the emotionless pod people. Then Miles and Becky are chased by a crowd of pod people. They get away from the crowd for a while, but Miles leaves Becky for a minute and comes back to find her changed into a pod person. He runs to the highway where he tries to warn people, who think he is crazy or drunk. Dr. Miles Bennell, runs to a hospital in the next town where he is thought to be insane after telling them the story about the pod people. The doctor seems not to believe Miles outlandish story. A hospital worker reports pulling an accident victim from under huge pod seeds, and the doctor realizes Miles has

been telling the truth. At the end of the film you see the doctor calling the FBI. This film was made during the time (150’s) of the Red Scare. The pods represent a communist threat.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers supports the idea of American citizens being paranoid during a period of the Communist scare. At the beginning of the film a little boy, Jimmy, and his grandmother ran into Dr. Mile’s office frantically. Jimmy has the idea that his mother isn’t really his mother, and Mile’s just thinks it’s an illusion. Also Becky’s sister Wilma thought that her Uncle Iran wasn’t really here uncle. Wilma thinks her uncle remembers, thinks, and speaks the same way he always did, the only difference she sees is that he is emotionless. Miles and Becky think that Wilma is just having a hallucination or is delusional. Dr. Miles says, “A boy says his mother isn’t his mother and a woman says her uncle isn’t her uncle” (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). People were paranoid about who was Communist; some people thought that our government might get over run by the communists. Senator Joseph McCarthy states “When a great democracy is destroyed it will not be because of enemies without, but rather because of enemies within” (88). In the movie this is represented by mothers and relatives putting pods in with their children while they slept, which symbolizes the idea that the enemies are within. Senator McCarthy also says “In my opinion the State

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Department, which is one of the most important government departments, is thoroughly infested with Communists” (8). This represents how McCarthy and many people thought the communists were invading their government. Jimmy and Wilma both represent the paranoia people were experiencing in America at this time. Wilma and Jimmy both made miraculous recoveries, by the next morning they were okay and did not think that their relatives were different anymore. Wilma and Jimmy both conformed to the emotionless state that many other people in their town had already done.

The pod people in the film represent communists, because they conform to be emotionless creatures that have over taken the former individual. During this time many Americans had the idea that communists were all the same (all emotionless). President Eisenhower says; “we must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes” (). This signifies how Americans did not want to conform and all be the same, they liked the fact that they were all individuals. The pod people symbolized the idea that everyone is the same and has no individual identity. Throughout the film the town’s people kept saying “you will be one of us” (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The town’s people represented the communist army trying to infiltrate into the American system and try to get everyone to conform and be the same.

The pod people replicated very quickly throughout the film, which symbolizes the rapid growth of communism. Senator Joseph McCarthy says “in less than 6 years the odds have changed from to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us. This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of Communist victories and American defeats in the cold war” (88). To represent the rapid growth of communism, the movie depicts how people are changed while they are sleeping over night. Towards the end of the movie when Miles and Becky are running away from the pod people, Miles leaves Becky alone for a minute and she falls asleep. During the short while that she is asleep she is over taken by a pod and has become one of the pod people. This signifies the rapid growth of the Communists, defeating and desensitizing individuals. While Miles is standing on the highway he yells “They’re after you there after all of us” (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The comment made by him represents how you have to protect yourself against the communism, since it was spreading fast.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers symbolized the paranoia issues Americans had during the period of the communist scare. The movie was a metaphor for the Red Scare, which revealed the fact that communism, was a real threat and that it was rapidly growing. People were scared that communism was going to over take, just like the pod people did. The people of America were scared that if communism took over, their freedoms and liberties would be gone. The pod people were emotionless creatures that symbolize the conformity of communism.


Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. And John Gjerde, eds. Major Problems in American History Volume since 1865. New York Houghton Mifflin Company, 00. (85-86; 88-8; 1-; -00)

Siegel, Don. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (156)

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