The Cold War And The Red Scare Influenced Science Fiction Essay

1453 Words Dec 13th, 2016 6 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Cold War and the Red Scare influenced science fiction in the 1950s. First, allusions to the Cold War will be examined to observe its prevalence in pop-culture. Second, Cold War symbolism will be examined to show how the writers and audience of science-fiction felt about the Cold War. Third, this paper will examine the depiction of scientific advancement because of the Cold War. The main reason that the science fiction genre was so popular during the 1950s was the Cold War. The superpowers of the world raced, not only in military power, but also in technology. Science fiction was simply reflecting this advancement in technology. As the Space Race advanced, the whole country became obsessed with the aesthetic of space, making everything from diners to cars to home appliances “space aged”. Subsequently, this aesthetic also applied to entertainment, especially movies. Since science fiction movies’ aesthetics at the time had roots in Cold War politics, it would only make sense to use these movies to explore the fears and paranoia at the time. It was also very convenient, as fear of Soviet invasion could be shown with alien invasion, or futuristic weaponry could symbolize nuclear weaponry.
For this paper, I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is about a human-looking alien named Klaatu landing on Earth in Washington D.C. to deliver a message to humans. After failing to find a way to contact all of Earth’s leaders at once,…

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