I Am Legend Character Traits

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Legendary Saviour or Monster of Legends?

In 2007, Francis Lawrence released his adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novella, I Am Legend. A small book about a middle aged white man slowly becoming the new civilizations boogeyman as he loses himself got turned into a feature film about dashing hero and saviour Will Smith, whose socialization comes from mannequins and a German Shepherd, feeling duty bound to save humanity. Francis Lawrence’s version of I Am Legend changes the legend of Robert Neville by making him a hero rather than an antihero, by giving him his sense of humanity back and allowing him to safely rely on science.

In Matheson’s original novella readers eventually get to see Robert Neville from Ruth’s point of view and realize that he is more of an anti-hero. Ruth serves as the other side of the narrative and sheds light on
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At his house he explains to her his system of killing the vampires and the infected to which she replies “it’s horrible” (Matheson 84). Robert then thinks “Horrible? Wasn’t that odd? He hadn’t thought that for years. For him the word ‘horror’ had become obsolete… To Robert Neville the situation merely existed as natural fact” (Matheson 84). He honestly can not acknowledge the horror of his situation. He acts and thinks as if he has been doing this his entire life. The note she leaves warning him also makes the readers start to think that these vampires might actually be more human than him. However, in the film Robert changes from antihero to more of a hero. The character of Ruth is taken out and is somewhat divided into Anna and Ethan, but also a little bit into the leader of the Darkseekers. From Anna and Ethan’s point of view, he is the man that saved humankind from the brink of
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