How does Invasion of the Body Snatchers use allegory to comment on 1950’s America?
The United States in the 1950s experienced marked economic growth with an increase in manufacturing and home construction amongst a post-World War II economic boom. The Cold War and its associated conflicts helped create a politically conservative climate in the country, as the quasi-confrontation intensified throughout the entire decade. Fear of communism caused public Congressional hearings in both houses in Congress whilst anti-communism was the prevailing sentiment in the United States throughout the period. Conformity and conservatism characterized the social mores of the time. How this relates to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers is through the allegory of communism. In the Invasion of the Body Snatchers we are introduced to Dr. Milles Bennell and recounts the events leading to his arrest in the flashback that follows.
In the fictional town of Santa Mira, California, Miles Bennell, a local doctor, has a number of patients accusing their loved ones of being impostors. Another patient is a former girlfriend of his, the recently divorced Becky Driscoll. Becky tells him that her cousin Wilma has the same fear about her Uncle Ira. Dr. Dan Kauffman, a psychiatrist in the town, assures Bennell that the cases are nothing but "epidemic mass hysteria". How you can relate this to communism is through the use of McCarthyism. When people were being accused of being Russian spies in America at the time of the Cold War. This ties into the movie in the sense that people are being accused have not being themselves or having changed, saying that people in America were being accused of Russian spies.
Later in the film Bennell concludes that the townspeople are being replaced in their sleep by perfect physical copies. Saying that communism comes and takes over when people are more vulnerable and they don’t know it is happening. You also see Miles tries to call long distance for help...
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