Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Faubion

Second Advisor

Dr. Sonia Hernandez

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Warren


This study analyzes the political and social context of key episodes from 1959 to 1964 of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. His science fiction television series, nestled against the backdrop of the Cold War, showcased his viewpoints on controversial issues from the Holocaust, postwar gender issues, McCarthyism, nuclear war and totalitarianism. As he was often fond of saying, “Aliens Can Say What Humans Can’t.” Also integrated in this study is showing how The Twilight Zone served as both an agent of change as well as a reflection of the times. This in turn, encouraged the masses to question and modify belief systems using both televisions hegemonic and empowering functions. Additionally, the ironic endings and unconventional interpretation of events also gave him both the means and the ends in constructing social realities for the viewers and to reorder his universe as reflected in The Twilight Zone.


Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Howell. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

History Commons