Fritz Leiber's Coming Attraction

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In “Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber uses the setting of the story to accentuate characters’ actions. The story takes place in a post-war time after Manhattan was hit with the Hellbomb and radiation filled the city. In time, things return back to normal, but there are still traces of effects from the radiation throughout the city. However, the setting has no relevance in the scheme of the whole story, but the overall meaning instead. Throughout the story, there are slight, but sometimes obvious, hints that connect the story to the real American culture. The setting overall highlights the characters’ negative beliefs in response to the effects of the Hellbomb in the city to critique real world situations that portray the American culture.…show more content…
As Leiber states: Before it occurred to me that I would be going out again, I automatically tore a tab from the film strip under my shirt. I developed it just to be sure. It showed that the total radiation I’d taken that day was still within the safety limit. I’m no phobic about it, as so many people are these days, but there’s no point in taking chances. (Leiber 370) The radiation of New York not only show how poisoned the city itself is, but the people living in it as well. Turner, as he checks the radiation exposure, notices physically and emotionally how the radiation affected the whole city. People, while they may not know it, have become affected with the radiation and responding to them negatively. Throughout the story, Turner’s behavior differs from those from New York. He is more educated, which shows the effects of the radiation to the people. Those exposed to the radiation are more violent and destructive especially males who are ready sexually abuse women or citizens who continue to just watch while people are constantly fighting. This applies to the current American culture as well. People are exposed to so much violence and war going on in the world that they have become accustomed to them to the point where they find it as a normal event and no longer have the need to stop

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