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What Logan's Run Says About the 1970s

Essay by review  •  January 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  939 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,049 Views

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The plot of Logan's Run is centered around Sanctuary, a place sought by Runners hoping to escape the Life Clock and the inevitable Renewal ceremony at age thirty. Logan 5 is a Sandman whose job it is to kill Runners, and the Computer gives him the task of finding 'Sanctuary' in order to kill the Runners who have disobeyed the Computer and escaped the Life Clock. Logan quickly learns that Sanctuary doesn't exist, and finds that rather than being renewed at age 30, everyone simply dies. Death is obviously not favorable for Logan or the others, so in a desperate attempt to defy the system, he flees the dystopian colony. Outside the dome he finds an old man who is outside the system, and brings him back as proof to the others that there is no Sanctuary or Renewal.

At first glance, Logan's Run appears to be a sci-fi movie about a futuristic world, but when examined more closely, it tells quite a bit about the time period during which it was filmed. The 1970's was a fairly chaotic turning point in American society. During the 1970s, new views on things such as sex, drug use, government, personal identity, and environmental awareness begin to emerge. Logan's Run incorporates all these new ideas, while managing to keep the importance of family and truth a strong aspect of what is right and desirable for the average American.

Concurrent with the changing times, in Logan's Run sex is purely for pleasure. There is no concept of a family structure, no need to be attached strictly to one person for long periods of time. During the 1970s the views of sex before marriage had changed considerably from the views of previous generations. "Free love" was a fairly common thing during the 70s, and, in the movie, is depicted as typical in futuristic generations. There is also a brief reference to the legality of drugs in the futuristic world, in which Logan and Jessica run through a sort of brothel where sex appears to be enhanced by drugs.

Logan's Run also includes the idea of distrust in authority, and primarily American government. In the movie, the Computer governs the people, and tells Logan to find Sanctuary. When Logan realizes there is no Sanctuary, and that he has been lied to about everything he based his way of life on, a quest for truth begins. He defies the Computer and leaves the city, where he sees the sun, or the truth, for the first time. This distrust in authoruty was a new view prompted by the 1970s, majorly influenced by the impeachment of President Nixon in 1974. Similarly, the American public had been lied to, and the group of people running the country had been caught breaking laws and endangering the lives of others in order to conceal the truth. Unfortunately it seems that issues of truthfulness and a lack of faith in power will also exist in the future.

According to Logan's Run, it would seem that in the future personal identity and individuality are not viewed as important aspects of life. Rather than given a last name, a person was given a number, i.e. Logan 5, and Jessica 6. There is no idea of individualism, or importance to the community besides doing the task the computer assigns to you. In fact, the entire notion of family life is ignored. Because of the free love and the absence of attachment to one another, people are less in need of individuality or expressing themselves. Toward the end of the



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