The characteristics of different monsters from various places and eras, can easily be compared to cultural boundaries among humans being broken, established, accepted, and rejected. The article goes on to discuss the relationship between monsters and cultural lines that in the eyes of many cannot be traversed. Monsters can be considered beings with two purposes, their story, and their function or impact in historical culture (21). Difference, in the world, is often viewed as unacceptable, even at times a form of contamination. Monsters seems to fall right into that topic category when discussing cultural differences and similarities that are often found established. Boundaries such a sexual purity, gender norms, and other lifestyle implications often are crossed by monsters and their roles they take on in media, literature and other forms of entertainment. They are hiding in personal identities, cultural norms, and hidden desires from within. With that being said, perhaps it is necessary to take into account whether monsters not only symbolize differences and boundary crossing in old and existing cultures across the world, but if they also represent the desire behind those differences that influence
In this reading, Cohen proposes a sketch of a new modus legendi, meaning, “a method of reading cultures from the monsters they engender.”(Monsters page 11) He also says that he’s going to break some rules from recent cultural studies. Now, Cohen offers seven theses towards understanding cultures through monsters by their character, appearance and representation, such as: Vampires, the Alien, Frankenstein, Werewolves, Grendel, the Boogey man, and etc.
The next thesis proposed by Cohen is that a monster is the harbinger of category crisis. In order to feel comfortable about places, people, and things in the word, we tend to group things into categories. All of these are placed in categories typically by physical appearance and certain traits that tend to stick out. Well, what’s scary about monsters is that they tend to be unnatural and not just fit into one category, but rather many different categories. One of the most common characters described by this thesis is Count Dracula, a monster that is neither dead nor alive. When one cannot be distinguished into a basic category this tends to frighten us because it goes against one of our common norms. He breaks our human-made laws of nature. Along with the violations of our norm groups, monsters also tend as an act to forewarn our cultures of crisis. The creator of Frankenstein can be seen as an act to
John Gardner’s Grendel and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein both include characters who are labeled as monsters. Grendel and the Monster share common characteristics such as being ugly, strong, large, and they kill others. They are both insecure about their appearance and how society portrays them. Grendel and the Monster use violence to try and cope with their insecurities. In the literary works Grendel and Frankenstein, both the monster’s physical appearance and their interactions with others cause them to become an outcast from society. This leads to rejection of themselves, low self-esteem, and ultimately they create havoc within their communities.
Society’s biggest flaws stem from the inability to understand the unknown; fear is one of the greatest contributions to this inability. Society projects their own fears and flaws onto monsters in order to deter the realization that they are the real monster. In John Gardner’s “Grendel”; Grendel is the victim to this concept because society has a preconceived notion about him and automatically stigmatizes him. Grendel is an embodiment of mankind’s greatest fears and a reflection of them selves. Our obsession with monsters is due to the lack of understanding from something that is completely different from ourselves. Society only projects their fears onto monsters because it has been integrated in society to see monsters as malicious
In declaring the “everlasting war against the species” Shelley confirms that the Creature does not correlate with humans because of the feared rejection of the differences him and other species. Shelley’s interpretation of human nature is one of complexity of social and personal interaction, and the look of impenetrable crime and awareness of a monstrosity viewed by its transgressors.
Introduction: Haunting Boundaries is the entry to the reader “Monsters” by the editors Brandy Ball Blake and L. Andrew Cooper. In the introduction, they talked about origins of monsters, Western and modern era to be more specific. Their origin reflect on the culture and the time being that they are in. These monsters were warnings, used to scared children and adults off dangerous area. Nowadays, monsters blend in among human, closely resemble a normal person to either further boost their fear factor or give them the foundation to have emotions, depth of character. Example of this given by the authors is vampire. Dracula is an iconic character for modern day literature overall and movie specifically. He is the vampire that uses his charm to
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if a being is never provoked by man, will it become a monster? The latter is a question that is put into focus throughout Gardner’s Grendel and Shelley’s Frankenstein. The reader learns of Grendel, and of Frankenstein’s creation, and must determine if they are truly monsters or merely a product of the world they live in. It is very easy to take one glance at the seemingly heinous crimes committed by Grendel and Frankenstein’s creation, and based off of this, deem them to be monsters. However, it is the actions and words of man that transform both Grendel, and Frankenstein’s creation into monsters.
Despite the hardships, Neville was still able to hold on to a thread of hope. He was by no means optimistic since it was apparent at times that he was not aware he held on to anything at all. Nonetheless, somewhere deep within Neville he had his hopes. He hoped that there might be someone else like him who survived. He hoped that he can find out what caused this. He even created new “hopes” for himself that were as trivial hoping to one day find where Ben Cortman slept so that he finally kill him. Whether the hope was insignificant or not, it did not matter. Just having the feeling of hope could have been a huge driving force for Neville making it easier to want to live. It was the times that Neville questioned or gave up on his hopes that were his lowest points. Although this happened often he still managed to pull through, but it was the extreme highs and lows that he experienced that really brought him down.
What defines a monster? Is it their grotesque, unnatural appearance that separates them from the rest of mankind, or is it their lack of remorse and compassion that makes them different? The word monster conjures up figures from gothic horror of exotic peoples with horrifyingly exaggerated features, and the kinds of impossible delusive beasts inhabiting the pages of medieval bestiaries. Well at first I thought exactly that. When I used to hear the word “monster”, my mind immediately pictured the petrifying beast that took residence under my bed for a substantial portion of my childhood. It had demonic beating red eyes, razor sharp teeth that glistened with fresh blood and amphibian like scales covering every inch of its enormous body. However, as I got older, I started to realize that there was no such thing as monsters and that it was all just a figment of my imagination. Accordingly, the fear of the monster under my bed slowly dissipated. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until after reading a quote by my favorite author, Steven King, that I was finally able to fully comprehend what the true definition of the word “monster” really was. “Monsters are real, ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win”. It had taken me awhile to truly grasp what King had meant, but then it clicked. Everyone has a monster inside them, dormant or not. That monster is the voice we hear in the back of our heads, urging us to cheat or to steal, and in some instances, worse. That monster
A common concept used throughout literature is monsters that are based solely off of the differences characters are able to identify between themselves and another character. This relates to the fourth thesis in Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s essay titled Monster Culture, where he states that monsters are based on differences. These differences can include “cultural, political, racial, economic, and sexual” (Cohen 7) differences, just to name a few. This thesis is exemplified in many medieval poems, including Bisclavret, by Marie de France, and Beowulf. Bisclavret and Beowulf both exemplify Cohen’s idea of monsters lying at the point of difference by showing that people discriminate and create stereotypes based on these differences.
“ People fear what they do not understand. ” In the original 1888 edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this saying is excessively shown throughout the journey of Frankenstein himself and his creation known as “ the creature.” Fear is spreaded in this famous, gothic novel because the epitome of society is lacked by both the creator and the creation, leading to much misunderstanding with who is the real monster. In this novel, the true monster is society because the ideals indirectly presented led Frankenstein to abhor and abandon the creature, the ultimate isolation of both, and the delirious vengeance developed by the two.
The audience expects the protagonist, Robert Neville, to continue his battle with the vampires up to the point where he is finally able to overcome them. These set of expectations forces the audience to read the novel through a specific lens, a lens symbolizing purity. Robert Neville can “[hear the vampires] outside, their murmuring … their snarling and fighting among themselves” (Matheson 6). By using specific diction to describe the vampires, Matheson sets up the overall image of the vampires. For example, he uses the term snarling which is a term used to describe animals; therefore, Matheson establishes that the vampires are animal-like, inferior creatures in a sense. Also, the vampires are fighting amongst themselves. This demonstrates that the vampires lack intelligence and morality since they are fighting and killing their own. This description allows the audience to automatically refer to the vampires as monsters. Noël Carroll, a preeminent philosopher and aesthetician of modern art-horror, explains in his essay, The Nature of Horror, how an audience's normal reaction to a monsters impurity is a major aspect that classifies novels as a part of the art-horror genre. In regards to I Am Legend, Matheson establishes this claim
In Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, the monster which is created by Victor Frankenstein acts as a mirror to reflect and bring out Victor’s hidden thoughts. In a particular study called Frankenstein – A Critical Study from a Freudian Perspective, it argues that Victor on the surface seems to be a “healthy man” (Johnson 1). In fact, he unconsciously has many dangerous thoughts, and the creation of the monster brings out those thoughts and finally leads to his failure (Johnson 2). In specific, present paper will analysis Victor’s characters by examining his intention and decisions toward the monster he creates, and the paper is intended
In most people’s minds as of today, there is no question to who the monster is in Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein. It is the creature that Viktor Frankenstein created, that murders innocent people. However, when looking beyond the appearance of the creature, it is evident that he did not begin as a monster. Mary Shelley analyzes fundamental and crucial issues in her novel in terms of being able to use science and knowledge for the good of people and not for the satisfaction of personal ambitions without even being able to take responsibility for that. It is also the novel of social rejection based on external looks and inability to accept. It was the extreme misconceptions of humans that resulted in the extreme isolation of Frankenstein’s