Analysis Of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's Monster Culture

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In Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Monster Culture (Seven Thesis), Cohen analyzes the psychology behind monsters and how, rather than being a monstrous beast for the protagonist of the story to play against, “the monster signifies something other than itself”. Cohen makes the claim that by analyzing monsters in mythology and stories, you can learn much about the culture that gave rise to them. In Thesis 1 of Monster Culture, Cohen proposes that “the monster’s body literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety, and fantasy”, specifically the fear, desire and anxiety of the cultures that gave rise to it;; fFor example, vVampires, undead, represent a fear of death. Monsters are born of an intense fear, desire, or internal conflict, “at this metaphorical…show more content…
Once noted, the parallels between Frankenstein’s fears and desires and the reality the monster experiences are many. Now that Victor is in university, he no longer has family and friends to fall back upon in the unknown territory of his university. Frankenstein voices is that “[he] believed [himself] totally unfitted for the company of strangers,” irrational as it may be, and believes himself solely dependent on his family and childhood friend for companionship. Without the love guaranteed to him by his family, Victor believes he is unfit to make companions by himself and destined to a life of loneliness. He places much importance on the fact that his father and Elizabeth love him and are concerned with his well-being. "I will write instantly, and relieve them from the anxiety they must feel," he says, when he recovers from his illness. The fact that they feel anxiety over his well being is a large part of their value in his eyes. Frankenstein wants to be loved and desired and fears being alone, whether through rejection or some other means of isolation. Plunk “[He] loved [his] brothers, Elizabeth, and Clerval; these were ‘old familiar faces;’” that kept him away from solitude. If he were to lose them, he would lose his safety net and fall into the terrifying void of potential societal scorn and solitude. Whether this fear is reasonable in the beginning of the book, before the…show more content…
The monster is spurned by society because of his horrific appearance, his body, alone and hated, unfit for the company of strangers, just as Frankenstein fears he is. He is miserable which makes the hatred grow, as he says, “all men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things!” In fact, this wretchedness and enforced isolation is the monster’s main character trait, parallel to the isolation being Frankenstein’s biggest fear. Now that Victor is in college, he does not have his family to fall back upon for affection. Repetitive The monster embodies this worry as well, as even the monster’s family “ you, [Frankenstein,] my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” While Frankenstein still has his family to fall upon for affection, the monster does not. This adds another layer to Frankenstein's fear: the worry that he will lose the affection guaranteed to him by his family and be left with nothing confusing. [Frankenstein rejects the monster and pretends it doesn’t exist, representing an inability to cope with his fear of loneliness. It then proceeds to destroy
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