We Create Our Own Monsters Monsters are different for everyone. Some may think monsters are purple, hairy, one-eyed freaks. Others may think they are atrocious beasts with chain-saws and bloody faces out to kill you! But monsters don’t just have to be a literal thing that we can see and feel. Many monsters are figurative, meaning that it’s not an actual real life monster but are features and characteristics made up of our own fears.
Many times the things that make a monster scary are because of the traits we give to them from our own fears. Monsters are creatures of our own imagination that help us deal with and reflect our fears and taboos.. The University of Michigan attempts to define monsters. The way they explain monsters is that they are creatures of our own imagination. James Mitchell describes monsters and says that, “Cultures create and ascribe meaning to monsters, endowing them with their characteristics derived from their most deep-seeded fears and taboos”.
What Mitchell is trying to say is that monsters are made up of our own fears. We create the characteristics of the monster based on our fears and taboos. So, for example, when we are younger we are scared of a monster in our closet and under our beds. So, a monster to a young child would be a hairy, colorful creature like a monster from the movie “Monsters, Inc. ”. But as we grow up we don’t fear that type of monster anymore. We overcome those worries. We are then faced with new problems and fears. For example, many teens fear not being socially accepted and people making fun of them Woods 2 nd bullying them – much like Frankenstein, not because the way he looked, but how he wasn’t accepted by anyone because peopled feared him. Monsters don’t just have to be big and scary creatures. They are also figurative just like in the books The Outsiders and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. In the book The Outsiders by S. E. Hilton the monster is “being alone” because in the book they fear being alone because they could be attacked by the Socs. The Socs were the “cool” and “popular” kids. They always have each other’s backs and protect one another from the Socs and everything they fear.
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After Ponnyboy got beat up in the beginning of the book by the Socs you can tell that they are all there for him, “Our gang had chased the Socs to their car and heaved rocks at them. ” In the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, Christopher doesn’t like anything he can’t use logic to figure out such as metaphors, jokes, sarcasm. That’s why he even says in his book, “This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them. ”(Haddon, 8) Christopher fears the unknown and chaos because of his autism.
Christopher cannot handle it when there is chaos and people asking too many question, “He was asking me too many questions and he was asking them too quickly…I rolled back onto the lawn and pressed my forehead to the ground again and made the noise that Father calls groaning. ” (Haddon, 7) The unknown and chaos are the monsters in this book. Figurative monsters are in all the books even the well-known monster books.. Even most of the classic monsters have figurative monsters in the stories as well. In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelly you would think ‘The Monster’ would be the monster.
He still is, it’s obvious, he is a massive, atrocious beast. But ‘The Monster’ actually fears being rejected. He has been rejected by so many people because all they see when they see Woods 3 him is his looks and not any of his personality. Just like when he was learning from his neighbors that he was spying on and decided to go to their house and meet them, and they immediately are frightened and do not accept ‘The Monster’ even though he was not there to harm them. He had very good intensions. When people saw him, they just assumed he was out to cause harm.
In Beowulf-poet everyone fears Grendel because he wants to kill Beowulf. This makes Grendael the monster of this story. But just like any other story there is a figurative monster as well. The people in this story fear Grendel’s power to kill whoever he wants, thus making the figurative monster power. But overall, the people of this town fear themselves or loved ones being killed which makes their biggest fear, death, just like in most books. In every story, movie, poem or T. V. show there is a monster. Whether it’s just the antagonist or a classic monster, a monster is a monster.
You can always find a figurative monster. What most people fear almost always ends up being the figurative monster. Just like in Frankenstein he fears being rejected, in the Outsiders they fear being on their own and in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Christopher fears the unknown. In all these books they also all fear one thing in common: death. One of the biggest fears to everyone is dying which makes every monster almost have to do with death. As we know, we create our own monster, by having their characteristics come from our fears. Every monster is different and every person has a different view on monsters.
- Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Doubleday, 2003. Print.
- Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders,. New York: Viking, 1967. Print.
- THe Holt Reader: An Interactive Worktext. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, n. d. Print.
- Sixth Course. Mitchell, James. "Introductory Essay to Our Exploration of Monstrosity. " University of Michigan. N. p. , n. d. Web. Aug. 2012. <http://www. umich. edu/~engl415/info/monintro. htm>.
- Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1831. Print.
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