Communication: Burden or Gift?

Each of this semester’s texts would be drastically different had the characters been connected in terms of global accessibility as we are today. The main characters in I Am Legend, and The Tortilla Curtain would have benefitted from connectivity and access to multiple communication mediums. In each scenario isolation was an obstacle to positive progression and limited the main characters’ development.

While Neville needs human connection the most he experiences is a sudden disconnect with society. His only form of contact is with the pseudo-vampires who are hunting him. He, if anyone as apparent sole survivor, needed the ability to contact people. Instead he lost his access to technology. He experienced something that our generation wouldn’t know how to handle. In an age of dependence on instant knowledge and availability, many would have a hard time coping with a sudden change in their reality. If the tables were turned and our generation last all known ways of communication, it seems to be safe to assume that our adaptation would be slower and much less resourceful due to our reliance to electronic data.   Had it been written today there would be so many more aspects discussed to encompass all of the extra things we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Consider if Neville had the Internet access that we know. He would be able to stay in touch with the last humans or do extensive research on the condition of the infected. In my opinion, the book would be worse if it were coming from a modern viewpoint. The technology in our lives makes for cluttered unproductivity. It would be too easy for Neville and the story would lose the majority of its meaning. He is alone and that is the most vital part. He must rely only on himself. The entire dynamic would be thrown and the ending would not be as striking. You would lose the switch from being the normal and in the right to being the ostracized and feared.

Tortilla Curtain is similar in the respect that the main characters would be at much less of a disadvantage if they could connect to a greater amount of people. If Candido and America could contact their families while they were in America or their friends in the U.S. when they were in Mexico they could avoid all of their misfortune. It would have saved them all of their time and money if they knew where they were going or could find out where they would be better off. This book differs from I Am Legend; I do not think that it would be drastically different if it were written this versus 1995 when it was written. It was surprisingly relevant to today. The book reads as if it were written in modernity. The social structure outlined in the book is also very relevant to the immigrant-yuppie issues now. America and Candido were very limited in their options. They struggle to break out of the socioeconomic strata they are locked in. Their lack of communication options kept them from elevating poverty to a middle class stature.  The text accurately reflects the importance of communication in economic success.

In conclusion, it is apparent that the development of communication has come to the point where it is now a necessity to daily life and any regression in communication would be an impediment to further development. The texts in this course have strong thematic times to communication and its growing prevalence.

-Lindsay

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