Monsters and such Creativity and Engagement

Last week was all about monsters. In class we read an excerpt from Beowulf and then looked at the representations of Grendel by different artists. Some made him look like a tree, some like slenderman, and others like a giant furry beast. They were all so different even though they were of the exact same monster which just shows how unique people's perspectives are. In my English class junior year, we had to read Beowulf followed by John Gardner’s Grendel, which I thought was a hilarious and very creative take on the story. Seeing the whole story from the monster's side made me better understand his reasons for being a "monster" and I empathized with him a little, maybe just because he seemed more human after getting to know his life. I also liked his sarcasm and sense of humor. Personally I always thought Grendel would look more like a lizard or dragon type thing but then after reading Gardner’s version I thought of him as an angry and very sarcastic little bear. It’s interesting to see how many variations there are of the same monster and why different writers and artists represent them the way they do.

See he's kinda cute...

We also went over the readings that we were assigned, which I really liked the one on why people love horror movies. It basically talked about how we love horror movies because they let us feel things that we aren't necessarily “supposed” to. In terms of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, it’s kind of the same thing as saying that the ego compromises with the id’s desires through the indirect experience of watching these kinds of movies.

The reading also talked about how we are all insane to a degree, and that some of us just show it more than others. Those people are the ones that are considered “monsters” and psychotic, the ones that are stuck into insane asylums. This reminded me of Season 2 of American Horror Story when one of the patients in the asylum is talking about his experience with getting abducted by grotesque alien-like creatures. He says, “They weren’t human. They were monsters.”, to which the nun replies:

"All monsters are human."

This statement is so true because monsters are created by people to represent real ideas and concepts that we are afraid of... whether it be technology, nature, or simply the unknown. This is basically the main theme that carries on throughout all six seasons of the American Horror Story series. Getting to know the so-called "monsters" and being exposed to their stories gives an explanation as to what caused them to be the way they are.

I was actually debating between American Horror Story’s Tate Langdon (pictured above with the skeleton face makeup) and Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton. Both of them are very similar in that they are considered mentally ill and act impulsively on their feelings, seemingly without conscience. I ultimately decided on researching Ramsay because I cannot empathize with him whatsoever and I absolutely loathe him in the show. Tate knows he has something wrong with him and visits a psychologist throughout the season to try and fix his behavior. While it doesn't excuse him from raping and murdering people, I feel like I can relate to him better. Ramsay on the other hand is just a piece of shit that disgusts me every episode. I think that it will take more effort to try and understand him, but I will definitely be engaged in the research because I want to figure him out as a character.

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