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Monster Culture 2/3 Summary and Notes:

Thesis 1: Monster is always a displacement, to be read as a warning, a construct and projection of a culture. Thesis 2: Monster always returns after defeat bound to a political or ethical battle in society. Direct ties from vampires to AIDS, homosexuality issues in our culture. Thesis 3: Monsters symbolize a clash of extremes, are outside of nature. Creates new methods of perceiving the world. Thesis 4: Monsters are created from difference, from the beyond, and therefore bring out the similarities and connections that unite everyone. Thesis 5: The monster keeps everything and everyone in their rightful place, discouraging any type of deviation or exploration at the risk of creating monsters from oneself. Thesis 6: The monster bizarrely stands for that which we desire. The actions and worlds of monsters are so socially unacceptable that we almost want that lack of rules and wish to be free to express ourselves in the same way. Thesis 7: Monsters are always a lingering existence in our mind. They always return in a new manner that best fits what is going on in our lives. They cause us to reevaluate us.

Response
We have discussed Thesis 1 in class. I do believe that the monster is a projection of each specific culture that creates it. I believe it is very subliminal and meaningful to have political and social ties to the monsters and their stories. People may not realize that the horrors they love so much have a deeper meaning. Monsters expand our thinking and imaginations, allowing us to embrace that which is ethereal. Although we place monsters in such a different category from ourselves, we fail to see the origin of the evil, coming from within ourselves. I am very interested in these seven theses of monsters. How did they relate all of ths to monsters throughout history and in cultures today? I have never thought of these points being made, but I find that I agree with many of them and I can see where the truths fall. It is almost disturbing to come to this realization. Thesis 6 is the scariest to me. It makes the point that if monsters did not exist, how could we? Just knowing that we have created these monsters and modeled them after ourselves is scary. Or is that just our creativity and imagination?

Sams Response
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. I agree with your view in some of these parts of Thesis 6. However, for some, they truly can view human-like monsters with great interest other than fear. Some of us are not afraid to study dangerous aliens like an extra terrestrial T-Rex.

Group Response
Thesis 4: Restate: Monsters are created from the differences that we see in ourselves, but choose to fear and exile instead of face. Main Ideas: -Cultural, political, racial, economic, sexual differences create the monster. Examples: -Beauty and the Beast -Republicans vs. Democrats