When he is about three feet tall, doctors at a research facility treat him with a serum that interrupts the degenerative process. Having lost his job and needing money, Scott publicizes his story, selling it to a newspaper. The resulting media coverage, even by 1950s standards is humiliating and Scott struggles to rationalize his “freakishness.” He befriends Clarise, a lovely midget of a traveling road show who helps lead him to acceptance of his condition: “The sky is as blue as it is for the giants.” The relationship ends all too soon when the serum fails and Scott continues to atomize.
Having retreated back to the care of his loyal wife and living within a dollhouse in a suicidal condition, the monotony of his declining stature is shattered by the attack of a housecat (the performance of the tabby doing more harm to the reputation of felines than Garfield ever could). Scott survives, only to wind up a prisoner of the basement-- a barren, harsh place typical of fastidious American disposal habits. A leaking water heater is his only water source; stale bread his only resource for carbohydrates; for protein does he dare risk dismemberment and an ignoble death for a piece of old cheese sitting on a classic mousetrap? Luckily, there were no rats to contend with; giant spiders being enough of a nuisance, especially when your only weapon in defense is a threading needle. But this discarded needle (isn't everything stored in our basements one motivated Sunday away from the dumpster?) is the difference for Scott between being prey and predator and just as importantly on an abstract, spiritual level, it connects him to man's warrior heritage. It's not for nothing that the movie climaxes with his slaying of the spider, whom he had tried to defeat with ingenuity but in the end, relies upon instinct and simple strength. His prevailing over the arachnid proves Randy Newman may have been wrong about the little guy. There's one dude in 1950s America who's instincts are working full tilt.