A Study of Dr. Robert Neville Portrayal of Seclusion in the Story, I Am Legend

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

I Am Legend

Dr. Robert Neville was a very isolated man through the story of I Am Legend. That never changed until the end, and even when reaching that turning point Neville still kept his emotions away from everyone. He was a firm wall that forgot how to interact with human beings due to the destructive re-engineered measles virus. I Am Legend asks serious questions about what a human could really endure during a crisis situation. It proves that in times of struggle, the enemy of man is themselves.

Isolation can be described as “the experience of being separated from others, which may be the result of being removed from others or can be a perception of being removed from a community” (goodtherapy.org). Neville was isolated, he was “removed” from others of his kind and forced to live with his pet and nobody else. After the human race died Neville only had Samantha who, even if she understood everything about Neville, could not give him the interaction humans need. Isolation can cause depression and without Samantha, Neville would have ended up down that route. Samantha allowed Neville to fight for something and someone, she gave him a sense of responsibility and companionship.

Once the story progresses we learn about specific ways that Neville keeps himself hopeful and gives himself a form of human interaction. In order to keep himself hopeful Neville is constantly speaking into a radio. He is asking for people to come to a designated location in order to provide them food and protection. This alone gives him hope that he isn’t the only one, even when he talks about how he is the last one alive he continues to speak into his radio since he doesn’t want to believe what he thinks is true.

During his routine he happens to end up in a Dvd rental store where he has mannequins posted up in every crevice of the shop. The mannequins are to give him a feeling of human interaction. He talks to all of them as if he is having a conversation, often referring to the woman in the Adult section of the store and wanting to go say “Hi”. Most people asked why he didn’t just go up to the fake woman and ask her out or why he was such a strange person for talking to these mannequins, but it wouldn’t be right to hold it against them as they probably don’t know what Isolation really is. A majority of people in class couldn’t last a day without some form of human interaction before going insane, so for them to say how strange Neville was is kind of funny and laughable. The isolation that Dr. Neville is put through is so intense that the only things keeping him emotionally sane is having an attachment with the mannequins. He knows they are mannequins hense why he doesn’t talk to the female in the back, but he doesn’t want to admit it as he might lose more of his mind. Neville never had an actual person to talk to, so in order to remember companionship he used those mannequins.

Neville was a man of honor, he was born a hero and died as one. He devoted however much life he had to finding a cure and saving humanity. He didn’t care the costs, he didn’t mind protecting it, the cure was his everything after the death of his family. Neville used the cure as a scapegoat, escaping his feeling in a way that can be noted as “correct”. The outbreak caused Dr.Neville to turn into a stone, emotionless man that only showed any form of weakness to Samantha as it was the last person that he could portray that too. Neville was a man of family, but when they died his priorities shifted into a worker with nothing to lose and barely anything to live for.

Neville was smart enough to make a daily routine that kept him sane. He had the right amount of military training and mental stability in order to keep himself alive. His safety in life was creating a cure, protecting Samantha, and helping out however many humans he could. Neville did start to become strange and slowly mentally unstable, but in a world of no humans and genetically altered humans that have the strength of three men who wouldn’t be.

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