“I Am Legend” as Philosophy: Imagination in Times of Pandemic

I Am Legend as Philosophy: Imagination in Times of Pandemic…

A Mutation towards a “Second Reality”?

Rachad Elidrissi

Marmara University, Istanbul


A planetary panic and almost deserted cities, fear of food shortages, and the growing threat of an invisible virus that does more damage day by day. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many believe that science fiction has now been overtaken by reality. In these times of adversity, what does it take to survive when the world comes crashing down? How do humans stay resilient, manage their growing stress, and somehow navigate through the crisis? More specifically, how do humans cope with isolation and loneliness in the light of a global outbreak? What does science fiction have to tell us about this? For the bewildered population, science fiction has been recognized as an ingredient to understand an unexpected reality. In this article I explain, through the philosophical eye of Francis Lawrence’s movie I Am Legend (2007), how a coping skill such as imagination, in the age of pandemics and social distancing, can mutate into a “Second Reality” that fills the gap left by the former (pre-outbreak) reality.

About the Author

Rachad Chafik Elidrissi is a Ph.D. student in Communication Studies at Marmara University, Istanbul. She is particularly drawn to popular culture studies, monster studies and the relationship between liquid modernity, ambivalence, prominent ideologies and social anxieties. She also maintains an interest in other contemporary literatures, posthumanism, sci-fiction, supernatural and dystopian. Her Ph.D. thesis considers a new theoretical perspective entitled “The Commodification of Invisibility” for understanding how commodification permeates social life and comes to dominate individual thoughts.

Published: 2021 – 06 – 01

Vol. 4 Cover: The Day that Coronavirus Stopped the Earth!

Issue: Vol 4 (2021): The Day that Coronavirus Stopped the Earth: What Do We Learn about Pandemics in Science Fiction Stories?

Section: Yearly Theme

Copyright (c) 2021 Rachad Chafik Elidrissi

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