I Am Legend Essay

1488 words - 6 pages

Once in a while everyone has had the thought of what it would feel like to be the last man or woman on Earth. Having the world and everything in it for yourself with no one around to bother you as u enjoy the luxuries you never had. What people fail to realize is the loneliness, despair and darkness of the so called utopia that they imagine. Richard Matheson, the author of I Am Legend, brings this dark idea into life by writing a story narrating Robert Neville’s life as the last human on earth. I Am Legend is often connected with the actor Will Smith, and his incredible representation of Robert Neville, the protagonist in the novel. However, most people don’t give enough recognition to Richard Matheson for creating the storyline and being the writer of the original novel. Both, Richard Matheson’s post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, and Francis Lawrence’s post-apocalyptic science fiction movie have many similarities and differences. The movie once again like many others fails to live up to the novel, mainly because of too many alterations in the characters, and story that leaves readers disappointed.
In the movie adaptation, Robert Neville is a scientist who’s not successful is stopping a man-made incurable virus. He is the last human living in a world filled with mutant victims who are infected and are known as Darkseekers. However, in the novel he is last human surviving an epidemic that destroyed humanity turning them into vampires. Everyone that he was ever in contact with either were turned or killed by a vampire. These plot differences in turn effect the portrayal of Robert Neville’s character. In the movie, Robert has himself well together, he hunts for food, works out, eats meals regularly and is generally healthy. In contrast, he is more aggressive and a bit of a drinker in the book. The reason he is more prone to living a bad lifestyle in the novel is because his past is described to be more violent and darker than that what the movie portrays. For example, in the novel he had to witness his wife and daughter turn into a vampire, and on top of that he had to kill them himself where as in the movie they died in a helicopter crash. “Despite everything he had or might have (except, of course, another human being), life gave no promise of improvement or even of change. The way things shaped up, he would live out his life with no more than he already had. And how many years was that? Thirty, maybe forty if he didn’t drink himself to death.” ( ). This quote signifies his thought of death, and his habits of drinking. The only thing that is exactly the same about the characters that both Richard and Francis portray are their names. Other than that, they think very differently, come from a different past, and live almost a different life.
Another difference between the novel and the movie, is the character of Ruth who in the movie is referred to as Anna. In the movie, she is depicted as an ordinary human who is on her way to a survivor’s...

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