Monsters? Why. Why is an English class based around monsters....The first day of class I was skeptical. And the second. All of them really, until I read "Why We Crave Horror Movies." Then I decided I really needed to start working on my openness, particularly with this class. After this reading I began to think more on why these readings and tasks were being assigned and what purpose they held in my life. I think it's common knowledge that we as people don't see ourselves relating with monsters. But have we ever really thought about what the true definition of a monster is? Well according to Webster's dictionary a monster is "an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening." (Dictionary, 2017).
Oh and also "any person who excites horror by wickedness and cruelty." (Dictionary, 2017). The last time that was the first definition popping into my head was never. Monsters make me think of childhood nightmares, like my irrational fear of the monster in "Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase." Never have I realized that a monster could also be defined as the person next to me. "Why we Crave Horror Movies" and "Monsters and the Moral Imagination" changed that for me, and opened the very real possibility the we all personally know a monster in some form in our lives. Of course this definition is awfully vague and open to huge amounts of interpretation. For example, am I a monster because last week I waited too long to do my raid and made myself miserable and furious at myself? Technically I was horrified at the thought of waiting to the last minute, and I was cruel to myself because I enacted that horror. But I guess it's up to me to determine that. Personally I don't think it made me a monster, it just made me realize what I can and can't handle. But what about other people? If you type "well known monsters of the 2000's" into Google, the obvious results are stars of horror films. Among them include Black Swan, the Conjuring, a lot of other scary paranormal things I don't like to think about (Gizmodo, 2016). But like it says in "Why We Crave Horror Movies," the general public craves this type of thing to make us feel normal, to let out our inner insanity, and just have fun.
I looked into people considered monsters with an open mind because of the vast amount of space for interpretation here. I had no problem accepting the idea that anybody mixing M&Ms and Skittles is a clear monster because that's just a horrifying idea to me. Some others made sense, such as the Russian Rasputin for being a horrible czar. However the ones more difficult to accept without an open mind are those ones about people with more similarities to me. For example the high school students responsible for the shootings at Columbine High School. A horrific even that left the entire country grieving, caused by kids who sat next to other students in math class. Who rode the bus. Who had once been young and spirited. But within a matter of hours these two students were seen across the world as monsters (History, 2009).
My quick judgement on the concept of monsters was close minded and poorly informed. It led me to neglect the idea and write it off as ridiculous. Following the readings this week I realized that the interpretation of monsters can go numerous ways, many of them disturbing however also very applicable our everyday lives. No matter how we view them, it is important to really understand each and every meaning of the word monster.
Eddy, Cheryl. "The 20 Scariest Horror Movies of the Last Decade." Io9. Io9.gizmodo.com, 26 May 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
History.com Staff. "Columbine High School Shootings." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
"Monster." Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.