Monster Culture Seven Theses Analysis

737 Words3 Pages
Molly Childree
Fleischbein
EH 102.147
Draft
February 5,2018
Our world is full of monsters, some imaginary, but most are legitimate and terrifying. In his text “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)”, Jeffery Jerome Cohen examines the use of monsters in literate and cinema. Cohen makes the claim that the use of monsters, historically and presently, in forms of entertainment symbolizes more than just the fear they instill in audiences. A monster is no longer just a monster. Cohen suggests that every monster, villain, antagonist, or scary thing in a piece of writing, represents some major cultural issue that the world is facing at that time. Monsters are used to present the cultural problem as something that can be solved. Each of Cohen’s seven theses
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Exploring the unknown can be dangerous and being curious is more often punished than rewarded, and “that one is better off safely contained within one’s own domestic sphere.” Cohen suggests that the monsters keep us from stepping outside boundaries. Cohen continues to note that the monster prevents geographical, sexual and intellectual mobility, and that by challenging the limits you risking being attacked by monsters, or even becoming a monster yourself. These words seem to act as symbols against the limits of society and culture.
The fear felt for monsters and ultimately connected to desire. Jeffery Cohen has a clear opinion of this. “We distrust and loathe the monster at the same time we envy its freedom, and perhaps its sublime despair.” They are both terrifying and the heart of fantasies. This accounts for the monster’s popularity.
The seventh thesis “The Monster Stands at the Threshold…of Becoming” brings attention to the fact that we are the creators of monsters. They make us question why we have created them; how we perceive the world, how we have misinterpreted so that we can reevaluate cultural assumptions about the different race, gender, sexuality.
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