Created by Markoff Chaney

Monster Theory

We live in a time of monsters. Monsters provide a key to understanding the culture that spawned them. What happens when critical theorists take the study of monsters seriously as a means of examining our culture? In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, the contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks, and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease... that pervade a society and shape its collective behaviour. A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions. The word "monster" derives from Latin monstrum, an aberrant occurrence, usually biological, that was taken as a sign that something was wrong within the natural order. The word connotes something wrong or evil; a monster is generally morally objectionable, physically or psychologically hideous, and/or a freak of nature. It can also be applied figuratively to a person with similar characteristics. The word monster is also synonymous with a person who has become abusive and angry.