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The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
Interactive Literature Selections


Literary Tools

Setting. The setting of a literary work is the time and place in which it occurs, together with all the details used to create a sense of a particular time and place. As you read this screenplay, think about the importance of the setting.

Motivation. A motivation is a force that moves a character to think, feel, or behave in a certain way. While reading the screenplay, think about what motivates the people on Maple Street to turn into a mob.

Reader's Resource

A screenplay is a drama written for television or film. "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" is a screenplay for a half-hour television program. Written as an episode for the Twilight Zone series, this teleplay is perhaps the best example from the series of Serling's remarkable gift for developing in a few short scenes a believable yet extremely dramatic sequence of events. In typical Serling fashion, these events challenge the characters, causing them to reveal their true selves. As you read the play, you will notice references peculiar to screenwriting, especially notes on camera effects, such as fading in (slowly becoming distinct) and panning (moving across a field of view).


Tommy's fear that the aliens likely sent scouts ahead disguised as humans has set off great concern among the neighbors as to which ones of them may actually be aliens. The six different characters listed below are all accused at one time or another. As you read the screenplay, jot down the reason(s) that others feel motivated to accuse these characters.

readers journal
Have you ever participated in group behavior that you knew to be wrong? What were your motivations for joining in?

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