A poor woman, living in a rustic shack in some lonely hollow, in a place that looks very much like Appalachia, faces off against the invaders, miniature creatures who have crash landed their flying saucer into her attic. What follows is truly terrifying, as she wordlessly and valiantly fends off their high tech assault.
We identify with the poor woman, not with the invaders. She may be poor, and from an isolated rural place, but she is on our planet, and the invaders are clearly from elsewhere. And she’s our size. The invaders are small. They’re like insects, persistent insects that won’t leave us alone. They swarm around her, and she swats back in defense.
As we watch the invasion, we form judgments about what is happening and have affective responses to those judged happenings, only to discover, in the end, that ourjudgments were incorrect and so our feelings were misplaced. Even our judgments of size were wrong (and those clearly figured into our emotional responses and expectations)!
In “The Midnight Sun” Serling refers to (something like) the “poles of our fears” – the extremes that induce fear: when it gets too hot, or too cold, or something is too large or too small. But what we take to be the extremes is relative to our everyday judgments. This episode bears out this point well.