The Monster As Woman Karen Hollinger Analysis

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Karen Hollinger is a professor of English at Atlantic University, an author and is also a very strong feminist. Hollinger’s essay, “The Monster as Woman: Two Generations of Cat People,” is an essay merely expressing how most monsters in novels or films are characterized as masculine identities and that viewers forget how powerful feminine identities in novels and films can be. Hollinger’s goal in this essay is to explain that feminine monsters are just as frightening all masculine monsters. She uses many references to movies with feminine monsters and expresses how powerful they are compared to masculine monsters and also expresses that males and females have castration anxieties. I think Hollinger succeeded in a sophisticated way because she…show more content…
For instance, the very first sentence of Hollinger’s essay starts off with this quote, “As Stephen Neale suggests, an intimate relationship seems to exist among the filmic presentation of the horror monster, the castration anxiety it evokes, and the cinematic representation of the female form.” (Hollinger pg. 243 of the Monsters book), in which she uses to intrigue the reader and to give the reader an idea about the work. Hollinger tells the reader that Neale thinks that the usual origin of a monster in a film is due to a relationship that went wrong and also claims that men are more vulnerable to certain anxieties. The placement of her reference to Neale’s essay allows the reader to conduct an idea of what the essay is going to be about and makes the reader think about what is more threatening between feminine monsters or masculine monsters. I think it was creative of her to reference a well-known philosopher and that she was able to use it to have the reader thinking about movies they’ve watched and figure out whether they’ve actually seen any movie at all with a feminine monster and if they did, then they’d compare them to the masculine monster causing the reader to think even more! It also made it easy to attain a…show more content…
One particular example is a 1942 film, Cat People, where a race of women turns into murderous panthers when sexually aroused or are driven with jealously. She describes numerous scenes in the movie which depict the strength feminine monsters have by expressing particular anxieties that different people have. I can perfectly discern the purpose of using this specific movie and it is astounding. A particular scene she describes is when a cat person named Irena Dubrovna meets with Dr. Louis Judd (a psychiatrist who attempts to cure her of her unfortunate curse) for her appointment. The significance of this scene is that Dr. Judd, who is again a physiatrist, tries to take complete control of Irena by using hypnosis and finding out everything she knows which eventually fails due his urge to kiss her. Dr. Judd kisses her and is then mutilated by the panther. Hollinger then writes after describing the scene, “Although Irena’s threatening sexuality is managed at the film’s conclusion through her violent destruction, it is never brought under the sway of male dominance.” (Hollinger pg. 250). She basically states that Irena has faced the fact that she will never find love and that she will never be controlled by man. This quote connects to how certain anxieties can ignite, for instance, since she has murdered people and will never be able to make love anymore,
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