I Am Legend Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''I Am Legend'' is a classic work of science fiction and horror, and one that many students will find engaging. These discussion questions can help your students unpack the themes and plot of this influential novel.

I Am Legend

I Am Legend is a 1954 novel by American author Richard Matheson. It is credited with helping to lay the foundations for both the modern vampire and zombie crazes, and remains a popular work of science fiction/horror. The following questions can help guide your students through a discussion about the themes, characters, and plot of this novel.

Questions about Characters and Plot

  • Who is the main character of I Am Legend? How are we introduced to Robert Neville? What do we learn about him and his situation in the beginning of the book? What do we learn about his personality throughout the book?
  • What is I Am Legend about? How would you describe the plot of this book? What caused the vampire outbreak? What clues are given about this? How has Robert managed to survive this long? How does he explain this?
  • How are we presented information about Robert's past? How does the author structure the flashbacks?
  • A major part of this novel focuses around a single character. What impact does that have on the novel? How does this impact our understanding of the character? How does this help us empathize with his loneliness? How does this impact us when Robert finds a dog? How do we feel when Robert loses the dog? How do we feel when Robert finds Ruth?
  • Who is Ruth? How are we introduced to her? How does she present herself? What are the early clues that she may be hiding something?
  • How do Ruth's revelations impact Robert's understanding of the vampires? How does this complicate the plot? How does it complicate Robert's actions? Is he the heroic survivor he thought he was?
  • How does I Am Legend end? Why do you think the novel ends this way? What is the author trying to say?

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