Books et al.SCIENCE FICTION

A movie monster evolves, fed by fear

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Science  31 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6443, pp. 840-841
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax5394

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Summary

Godzilla has endured in our collective imaginations even as other oversized movie monsters from the 1950s have faded from memory. What began as a pointed antinuclear fable has since evolved into a broader allegory for human folly and our reckless disregard for the natural environment. In this essay, we suggest that Godzilla—which has grown significantly since its debut— is evolving in response to a spike in humanity's collective anxiety, and that the monster is more than a metaphor; it is a fable with a lesson for our times.