Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's Monster Culture

Decent Essays
The people of Salem start accusing more and more people and upstanding members of society of witchcraft. The trials end when they accuse the governor’s wife of witchcraft. During the trials, people were tested for being "witches" by tying bricks to their feet and putting the possible witches underwater. The theory was, if you survived, you were a witch and unfortunately, many people drowned. Although some people survived, the "witches" were soon killed anyway. The survivors were believed by the overly suspicious people to have used witchcraft to save themselves. These “witches” being killed without evidence against them proved the hunters to be merciless in their paranoid frenzy. About 20 years later the government apologized because there…show more content…
These witch hunters found their witch or monster in Muslims who they suspect of participating in terroristic activities. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s “Monster Culture” describes the foundation in the creation of a monster which can be applied in the demonization of Muslims in the eyes of paranoid Americans. The inability to understand these cultural difference begins Western assumptions about Muslims and their beliefs. Muslims as a whole wrongly become a “monster” which inspires unjust savagery in retaliation by paranoid Americans who fear terrorism. The government itself is guilty of political paranoia in which the witch hunt for terrorist which hurts the American people (including Muslims) it is attempting to protect as well non-American Muslims. The historically paranoid behavior of the government is documented in "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" by American historian Richard J. Hofstadter, which describes the government’s previous monstrous activity is used to capture other monster as a result of paranoia. The paranoid government can become the monster that it fears. Political paranoia is evident by the actions by the American government and some citizens who interpret terrorism to be "against a nation, a culture, a way of life whose fate affect not himself alone: but millions of others” (Hofstadter 4). Though terrorism is a threat, Americans have disregarded ethics and morals as they hunt for terrorist creating their own monsters. The creation of monsters from paranoia that must be hunted changes the hunters into a monster themselves. Historically with the Salem witch trials, it has been seen that paranoia is a dangerous force and motivator for behavior causing a needless loss of live. Paranoia and fear must be controlled in order to prevent it from guiding one’s actions into
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