Smith reveals the particular biases and assumptions of blacklist allegories as well
as the extent to which this type of interpretation has informed the reception of
1950s films. More specifically, he addresses several questions about the validity of
allegorical readings of the blacklist. Is there a basis for such allegorical
interpretations? What is the place of authorial intention and audience reception in
the encoding and decoding of blacklist allegories? What does this reading strategy
tell us about the politics of the films makers? Does this reading strategy privilege
certain meanings of the text over others of equal significance?