I think that is one possible reading, and I think it has some credibility given the political context of the time. However, when was the story first published? 1947? I'm no expert on '40s politics, but doesn't your reading make more sense for the 1950s? (i.e. when anti-communist paranoia was peaking)
Is there anything in the story to suggest that the children will be killed by the alien invader, or are you just assuming this? I'm not sure whether this would affect your reading of the story, but make sure you have got the "facts" of the story properly grounded before going on to discuss its meaning.
The children in the story were as VI Lenin called "Useful Idiots" . Their actions led to the destruction of their civilization. If the invaders were brutal enough to kill Mink's parents for her, What do you think they would do to Mink when she complained about something, anything?
Good question! I'm not very well versed in Lenin, so I should profess ignorance and encourage you to develop your thesis further.
However... I'm not entirely comfortable with the kids in the story being thought of as "useful idiots". Are they ignorant of what they are doing? In some ways they seem smarter than the adults: they are at least aware that there IS an alien invader, and they facilitate Drill quite knowingly. It could be argued that the parents are the idiots, for ignoring what's going on right under their noses.
Perhaps I need to know more about what Lenin meant.
Phil, yes indeed. "The fifth column" it is as much political statement as it is spooky fantasy by RB (1947, Love Romances Publishing Co.).
The RBTh version played up the technological toys having distracted the adults from the reality of the day. Sounds like a very familiar theme. Not having a TV has been a real breath of fresh air.
And if there is anything stirring itself up in my back garden, I will be the first to see it. Only the squirrels rooting for seeds from our pumpkin and squash at this time of the year. But once never knows...!
Posts: 2682 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005
The "5th Column" idea in the story was pronounced. What I noted is where the idea came from. The children allied themselves with "Drill" & his bunch BECAUSE they wanted to "Get Even" with anyone who did them wrong. Example, one of the children that Mink was working with had 2nd thought about what they were doing. Mink says that she too was going to be killed when Drill & the Martians take over. I equate the Children in the story with the left in my country. We are involved in a war and they are pulling for the other side..
T7 > you got the nail right on the head!! I am just finishing my 1st Honors 10 Lit Unit. Reading materials: Diary of a Young Girl, Night, Animal Farm, Julius Caesar, F451, and more of the same. First written (edited) and then typed compositions were outstanding! No sleepers here. Future leaders. I work diligently to get them fired up and involved in all they do. Read, read, read! Lots of RB!!
Does anyone remember anything about WWII? Our worst foes now get to tell us what they think on the main stage of the UN, with full diplomatic immunity! Maybe they would some day return the favor in their own backyard. Not!
By making the comparison to "War If The Worlds" you cheapen the reason reason that brought up the first place. If you are talking about the Orson Wells Radio Broadcast, That panic came about from people not listening to the broadcast to detect it was a radio play. If you are talking about the Book, you don't take into account the the people in the book who bravely took on the Martians, instead of hiding in in attic waiting to be killed.
But, what have I heard about the Columbia speech? It was all about how "There are no Gays in Iran"!
Look There they are! Mom & Sad are hiding in the attic. And Mink (Read the President of Columbia University) and her friends (Read Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) are coming up the stairs!
T: I did catch some of the rants an the news. There was more to it than that. It has raised awareness globally. What next? Time will tell. The signs are all there. Let us all pray it does not all arrive at another, "Peekaboo!"