Time Enough at Last-Twilight Zone 1×08

 “Time Enough at Last” Symbolism (Twilight Zone) TheTwilightZoneLogo

“Time Enough at Last” is a Twilight Zone episode that is about the dangers of obsession. Henry Bemis, the nerdy glasses-wearing protagonist, loves to read. Books end up being a symbol for obsession, as everything in the story revolves around them. Henry Bemis is always talking about books at his job to customers, even if they don’t care, and goes so far as to read and ignore customers to continue reading. He even sneaks away during work to read. This symbol of his obsession becomes even more apparent when his boss scolds him for reading like he does and his wife outright refuses to let him read anything while he’s at home.

They refer to reading as a complete waste of time and foolish. Henry is also shown to be completely uninterested in anything else but reading, shown by his disinterest in his job, his wife, and spending time with neighbors. Henry just wants to read all the time and laments that he doesn’t have time to. The books serve as a symbol for any object of obsession that you can think of, and Henry is symbolic for any person with an obsession.

One day at work, Henry Bemis ends up locking himself in the vault at his place of work to read and a nuclear bomb goes off. When Henry awakens, he realizes that he is the last man on Earth and the world is now a nuclear wasteland. Henry Bemis is then in a world without books, all of them having been destroyed, and the nuclear wasteland symbolizes the absence of the item of obsession. Henry lasts one day before becoming completely bored and desperate for anything to do. His obsession mixed with a none of his books almost makes him take his life, which shows that without the item of obsession, it takes people to dark places and makes them rather miserable.

At the end of this Twilight Zone episode, Henry finds a public library which makes him happy because he can just read forever now without anybody bothering him. For people with an obsession, to never be bothered when you are partaking in whatever your obsession is would be the best thing for them. However, just when Henry Bemis is starting to read, his glasses fall off and break. He then cries because he could finally partake in his obsession as much as he’d like forever, but because he can’t see now he is unable to. This shows the unhealthiness of obsession, meaning that even if you could have all the time in the world to read, to dwell on that obsession is always going to lead to negative outcomes.