The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street Physical and Atmospheric Setting before the aliens come



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The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street


1. Physical and Atmospheric Setting before the aliens come

  • Physical –

  • Saturday afternoon, Maple Street, October

  • Picket fences, football game on, lawns being mowed, sprinklers rotating

  • Good Humor man selling ice cream

  • Atmospheric

  • Peaceful, idyllic small town life



2. Physical setting after the aliens come

  • A bedlam

  • An outdoor asylum for the insane

  • Dark

  • Bodies draped over porch railings

  • Windows broken

  • Street lights smashed

  • Screams and shouts of anger

  • Atmospheric setting = horrifying



3. Events that caused the setting to change

  • 1. “meteor” flies overhead

  • 2. everything stops

  • 3. Tommy mentions Martians

  • 4. Ned Rosen’s car starts by itself

  • 5. Darkness falls

  • 6. Killing of Pete Van Horn

  • 7. lights begin to go on and off



1. Characters

  • Steve Brand – leader and thinker/ruled by logic

  • ex-marine, take charge kind of guy p. 286

  • Charley Farnsworth – accuser and bully/ruled by passions/instinct

  • fat, dumpy, wears loud Hawaiian sport shirt, easily scared, selfish, wants to save his own skin, compared to animals p. 282



Characters continued

  • Tommy Bishop – unintentional instigator

  • Ned Rosen – scapegoat, feels like an animal at bay (feels hunted and trapped)

  • Mrs. Sharp – accuser/gossip

  • impatient, short tempered, loud mouth p. 281



1. Complication?

  • Occurs when the “meteor” flies overhead and everything stops.



2. Conflict?

  • Man vs himself – townspeople try to control their own fears but eventually fear gets the best of them and they turn on one another. Their uncontrolled fear leads to the next conflict.

  • Man vs man – illogical suspicion of others leads the townspeople to turn against one another



3. Crisis?

  • Shooting of Pete Van Horn – crossed the line into violence – people released their emotions and now can’t stop fear from spiraling out of control



4. Climax?



5. Falling action? Resolution?

  • Falling Action – occurs when the aliens discuss how they take over the world. Take away their machines and plunge them into darkness and watch fear overtake them. P. 301

  • Resolution – Wednesday afternoon new residents move in – ones with two heads p. 302



6. Evidence

  • A person’s idiosyncrasy

    • Looking at the sky – Ned Rosen
    • Working on ham radios – Steve Brand
    • Liking Martian stories – Tommy Bishop
  • Cars starting by themselves

  • Lights going on and off



1. Gain control

  • Take away things we think are necessary – like machines, phones, tv’s, etc., let darkness set in, and watch fear take over. Let mankind’s fears motivate them to turn on one another.



2. Theme

  • Fear and suspicion can cause peaceful people to turn on one another.

  • Mankind is its own worst enemy.

  • Prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own.



12. Historical times

  • Japanese Internment Camps

  • Post 911 profiling

  • McCarthyism

  • Salem witch trials



13. Figurative language

  • Maple Street was a bedlam. It was an outdoor asylum for the insane. – metaphor

  • A 12 year old boy had planted a seed. And something (Fear) was growing out of the street with invisible branches that began to wrap themselves around the men and women and pull them apart. Metaphor p. 287

  • A fever had taken hold now, a hot burning virus that twisted faces and forced out words… implied metaphor p. 300



  • The nail on the coffin…one dumb, ordinary, simple idiosyncrasy of a human being – and that was probably all it would take. Metaphor

  • He (Ned Rosen) was an animal at bay. – Metaphor p. 292

  • Charlie Farnsworth’s piggish little eyes flapped open. Implied metaphor

  • Charley squealed. Implied metaphor



  • Charley whinnied. Implied metaphor

  • Charley’s horse whinny. Implied metaphor

  • Charley trots over. Implied metaphor



  • Like a hippopotamus in a circus simile p. 299

  • A hundred yards away the figure (Pete Van Horn) collapsed like a piece of clothing blown off a line by the wind. – simile p. 297

  • Why, it’s like going back into the Dark Ages or something! Simile p. 293

  • Charley…looked like a piece of uncooked dough, quivering and shaking in the light of the lantern… simile p. 297



  • They blinked foolishly at the lights and their mouths gaped like fishes simile p.28

  • People stopped as motionless as statues simile p. 299



  • Fear whipped at the back of his brain. = personification p. 300

  • Sick engine was getting deeper and hoarser personification p. 287

  • Feeling the suspicion that flowed from the people – personification p. 292

  • The dull, dumb, blind prejudice of the man personification p. 294



  • No clickety-click – onomatopoeia p. 281

  • Everyone on the street looked up at the sound of the whoosh – onomatopoeia p. 281



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