The Fear of Not Fitting In: One of Twilight Zone’s Most Chilling Lines
You know, there’s actually something of a drawback to The Twilight Zone being such a well-written series. Sometimes there are so many good lines, you can overlook a few gems.
Take a scene in my all-time favorite episode, “Eye of the Beholder“. It occurs just before the famous unveiling, so I’m not surprised it tends to be overshadowed.
The doctor has just finished explaining to Janet Tyler that if this final operation to make her beautiful isn’t successful, not to worry — she can still live “a long and fruitful life” among other people who are similarly, well, afflicted.
But Miss Tyler is unconvinced. She replies: “If I’m still terribly ugly, well, is there any other alternative? Could I please be put away?”
And the doctor tells her that in some cases, “the state does provide for the extermination of undesirables”.
Wow. For me, Miss Tyler’s question is one of the most chilling lines in the whole series. Think about it: For this woman, death is preferable to being deemed ugly.
And a society that deifies “glorious conformity“, as the so-called “Leader” calls it, does nothing to set her straight. No, it’s ready to kill this poor, haunted woman — excuse me, “exterminate” this “undesirable”.
In a world of extreme political polarization, of intense political correctness, of bullying cases so severe they lead to suicides … can we truly say these attitudes exist only in the Twilight Zone?
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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!