Thursday, March 09, 2017

More Monsterous Behaviour

OK, to continue what seems to have become this week's 'theme', I'm well aware that, in the last post about horror movie monsters and transgressive behaviour, I neglected to mention Frankenstein's Monster.  Well, as always there's the sex angle: like the Mummy, the Monster is always carrying off young women in low cut dresses, or even their underwear, with the clear implication of a sexual motive.  Indeed, in the 1931 Frankenstein, there's a scene where Karloff's monster lumbers into his creator's bride-to-be bedroom - the way the sequence is cut, with the bride-to-be lying prone on her bed, hair disarrayed and limbs akimbo, clearly implies rape.  Of course, there's always the question of whether Frankenstein has constructed his monster with the requisite equipment for that sort of activity - certainly, the creature's attempts to get the good Doctor to create him a mate seems to imply that he is equipped.  (Interestingly, in the original novel, written before science had any understanding of genetics, Frankenstein worries that if he creates a bride for the Monster, they will procreate a whole race of misshapen monsters.  In reality, of course, as they would have possessed someone else's organs of procreation, they would have produced offspring that looked like whoever had donated such organs). 

Whilst an argument for the Monster's transgressive behaviour being rape, an argument could be made that it is the the creature himself who represents trangressive behaviour.  Some years ago I read a book entitled Dreadful Pleasures, by James B Twitchell, which attempted a Freudian analysis of the classic horror monsters.  The Frankenstein Monster, according to Twitchell, derives much of his psychological impact on viewers because he is the product of unnatural sexual procreation.  He is, of course, not born of woman.  Indeed, no woman is involved, at any pint, in his creation.  He is entirely the product of a man. Put crudely, the Monster is the result of masturbation, a terrible warning of what happens when unnatural (ie solo) sex usurps the normal sex act involving a man and a woman.  Indeed, bearing in mind that the original novel was written by a woman, it could be argued that the story serves as a warning of the terrible consequences of trying to usurp woman kind from their rightful role of creators of new life.  So there you have it - Frankenstein's Monster is less a masturbatory fantasy than a masturbatory nightmare.



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