I Am Legend

Alcohol Symbol Analysis

Alcohol Symbol Icon

Robert Neville copes with his depression and loneliness by drinking heavily (in real life, Matheson was known to be a heavy drinker, suggesting that there might be some autobiographical touches in I Am Legend’s descriptions of alcoholism and depression). Alcohol could be said to symbolize the depths of Neville’s loneliness as the last man on Earth.

Alcohol Quotes in I Am Legend

The I Am Legend quotes below all refer to the symbol of Alcohol. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Otherness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Tor Books edition of I Am Legend published in 2007.
Chapter 3 Quotes

He thought of the eleven—no, the twelve children that afternoon, and he finished his drink in two swallows.

Related Characters: Robert Neville
Related Symbols: Vampires, Alcohol
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

The thought of forty more years of living as he was made him shudder.
And yet he hadn't killed himself. True, he hardly treated his body welfare with reverence. He didn't eat properly, drink properly, sleep properly, or do anything properly. His health wasn't going to last indefinitely; he was already cheating the percentages, he suspected.
But using his body carelessly wasn't suicide. He'd never even approached suicide. Why?
There seemed no answer.

Related Characters: Robert Neville
Related Symbols: Alcohol
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

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Alcohol Symbol Timeline in I Am Legend

The timeline below shows where the symbol Alcohol appears in I Am Legend. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Neville smokes a cigarette, has a drink, and then goes back outside to his “hothouse.” Inside the hothouse, he retrieves a basketful... (full context)
Chapter 3
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
It’s nighttime. Neville drinks alcohol and hears the voice of Ben Cortman calling out to him. A little drunk,... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Neville continues drinking. As he becomes slowly drunker, he begins to give a mock-lecture about how the vampire... (full context)
Chapter 5
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Safe again, Neville pours himself a whiskey and drinks it quickly. He hears a crash; looking through the peephole in his door,... (full context)
Chapter 6
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...in a garage about a mile from the house. He’s also repaired his generator. Neville drinks less and feels healthier; he also sleeps more soundly. (full context)
Chapter 7
Otherness Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...determined to continue learning about vampires in order to protect himself and distract himself from drinking. (full context)
Chapter 10
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...the bacteria. As he thinks, he feels a strong temptation to give up and get drunk; however, he forces himself to concentrate. (full context)
Chapter 11
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...can withstand bullets, though he doesn’t know how. Excitedly, Neville realizes that he hasn’t craved alcohol all day. He spends the night eating dinner and listening to records, and he manages... (full context)
Chapter 12
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...garlic, germs, running water, crosses, etc. He tries to work, but finds himself craving a drink. Angry, he drinks directly from a whiskey bottle until he’s very drunk. (full context)
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Neville have continued to drink himself to death, the narrator notes, had it not been for a “miracle”—after a few... (full context)
Chapter 14
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
After the death of the dog, Neville resists the temptation to drink heavily. Instead, he returns to work trying to understand the vampires. (full context)
Chapter 16
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...take a sample of Ruth’s blood. Ruth cries out, “Leave me alone!” Neville offers Ruth whiskey in order to calm her down. Suddenly, he realizes that he doesn’t care whether Ruth... (full context)
Chapter 18
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
...dresses, and accuses Ruth of trying to leave him; Ruth denies this. Neville pours himself whiskey and drinks all of it right away. He tells Ruth about the night his wife... (full context)