How The Twilight Zone Reflected American Society in the 1950s

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How The Twilight Zone Reflected American Society in the 1950s Imagine, if you will, a time that seemed innocent... almost too innocent. Imagine a nation under whose seemingly conformist and conservative surface dramatic social changes were brewing, changes as obvious as integration and as subtle as fast food. And imagine, if you will, a radical television show that scrutinized, criticized, and most importantly, publicized these changes, making the social turmoil of a nation apparent to its post-world war, self-contented middle-class citizens. But what if this television show was not as it appeared? What if it masqueraded as simple science fiction, and did not reveal its true agenda until viewers took a closer look? Let us examine how such a television program can become a defining force in the culture of a nation, a force that remains just as powerful almost forty-five years after it first appeared. Let us investigate the secrets of... The Twilight Zone. With ominous opening monologues, mind-bending special effects (at the time, anyway) and totally unexpected-twist endings, The Twilight Zone captured the attention and imagination of America at the end of one of the most influential and change-inspiring decades of the century. During the fifties, Americans experienced vast changes not only in our country's position in the world, but also in our own culture -- and one of the leading vehicles for this change was television. In a time when situation comedies and game shows dominated the air waves, Rod Serling's science fiction anthology program stood out as an example not only of the artistic potential of television in terms of writing and special effects, but also of the power television had as social commentary and a thought... ... middle of paper ... ... the National Public Radio website: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/twilightzone/ Sander, Gordon F. Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man. New York: Dutton/The Penguin Group, 1992. Vahimagi, Tise. "Rod Serling" and "The Twilight Zone." Taken from the Museum of Broadcast Communications website: http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/S/htmlS/serlingrod/serlingrod.htm http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/T/htmlT/twilightzone/twilightzone.htm Zicree, Marc Scott. The Twilight Zone Companion. New York: Bantam Books, 1982. The SciFi Channel website: http://www.scifi.com/twilightzone/serling http://www.scifi.com/twilightzone/episodes The TV Pilot Guy website, copyright 1997: http://www.geocities.com/TvPilotGuy/twilightzone59 The Quotations Page website, taken from Rand Lindsly's Quotations: http://www.quotationspage.com

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