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Essay: How monsters are depicted: Get Out (discriminations), Jekyll (psychological fluctuations), Frankenstein (darkened side of moralities)

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The terminology of the “monster” formerly often relates to a creature that has a deformity physical appearance. The monsters are often described to have a disgusting, detestable and abominable appearances with the supernatural power that can control everything as well as they can create a massacre to destroy violently everything getting in their ways. However, figuratively, the phrase “monster” now can carry a much broader implications and meanings rather than just a cruel and cheeky demons. Instead of possessing the supernatural power, this “monster” is thought to obtain a genius and brilliant minds but traumatically tends to use its abilities for the despicable purposes to satisfy its desires of domination. Similarly, the cataclysm from the monsters now refers figuratively to the death of the victims from the serial killers or even from the discriminations of the society toward the individuals just because they are different from the majority (Cohen 6). According to Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s article – Seven Theses of Monster Theory, those definitions in his theories provide many more of sceneries and cases about the “monsters” that human has never been witnessed or acknowledged about (Cohen 13). All the “monsters”, they all have the different origins about where they from, possess different physical appearances, and create the different impacts on the fear of the humankind (Cohen 8). Indeed, there are actually no standards can be used to categorized those monsters into since each of them are totally different (Cohen 6). By using the rhetorical methods, on the base of gothic materials, Shelley, Stevenson, and Peele have depicted vividly and figuratively how the hideous “monsters” are reflected for the racial discriminations of the society in Get Out, for the psychological fluctuations and traumas of Dr. Jekyll in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and for darkened side of moralities and behaviors of Dr. Frankenstein in Frankenstein.
With the dark and horror colors, plaintive and haunted sounds of the death, as well as the special types of dreary characters, gothic fictions start flourishing in the nineteenth century with various of subgenres by telling the stories with their unique styles. Influenced by the neoclassical and romanticism genres, the images and details in the gothic novels tend to push the readers’ emotions to a higher peak (Aguirre 141). In order to understand they implications lying underneath, the readers need to meditate to figure out the hidden parts of the souls – the fear of deaths. Due to its characteristics as a set of unexplainable dramatic sequences related to the supernatural events, the novels written on this material have a stronger sense to tell the public the stories about the “monsters” concept by using varieties of “content – based definitions – motif, episode, plot, theme, setting, atmosphere, psychology, ideology” to create such dreamy and creepy but realistic stories (Aguirre 107). Therefore, the ideas of reflecting a cruel society can easily be integrated to the novels. The cruelty of alienation of the society in Frankenstein or the discrimination of the white man against the black man in Get Out have been portrayed truly about what is going on in our society by using the gothic materials. Moreover, gothic fictions often revolve around the “dark theme” of the reality such as crime, superstitions, and supernatural events besides the system of characters who have the strange way of acting and thinking (Aguirre 142). With Dr. Frankenstein, his ideal is the way to approach to the regeneration of living body from the collected parts of the corpses (Shelley). With Dr. Jekyll, his ideal is the way to get to fabricate the serum to “play” with the crimes in Mr. Hyde’s identity. And for Dr. Dean, his ideal is the way to create the method of transplanting the brains of the white man into the black bodies as he supposes the bodies of black man should belong to the worthy white man. According to Keith O’sullivan in the article – Research Guide to Gothic Literature in English, the priceless materials are “Gothic’s literary and critical history; its national, regional and ethnic manifestations; its engagement with topics like gender, race, sexuality and the emergent field of postcolonial studies” (O’sullivan). In addition, gothic fictions are usually combined between the horror element the romantic element to depict vividly the unreal and creepy stories. In the stories, there are the melancholy sceneries, but sometimes there are the mighty nature so that the novels have the balance between the horror and romance (Rintoul 702). The novels are beautiful enough so that they are not considered as an extremely horror story, as well as they are mournful enough so that they are not supposed as an extremely romantic story; they are mingled together (Rintoul 703). Specially, by using additionally the scientific materials, the authors make the fictions become logical. Those details such as brain transplantation in Get Out or transformation in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or even the dead body regeneration in Frankenstein seem to be mythical but actually they are not; they are playing as chains that connect the stories and details together. Since then, the novels become neither too real nor too fantasy, an ideal material for the authors to write the stories fascinatingly but still reflect truly the reality (Rintoul).
The first “monster” of the reality that has been depicted throughout three contexts is the cruelty of crimes. Formerly, the “monster” is often described as a creature possessing a powerful strength that can kill everybody getting in their ways but; figuratively, the “monster” phrase now can stand for the formidableness of felonies. Based on gothic materials, the brutality of the guilty is exposed and indicated thoroughly through the details of murdering in Frankenstein or assaults in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Frankenstein, the cruelty of the crimes is portrayed through the activities and behaviors of the “creature” toward the humankind: he fires Felix’s house gloatingly or kills Elizabeth and Dr. Frankenstein’s relatives just to satisfy his vengeance as he denies the creature’s requests (Shelley). “[He] fire[s] the straw, and heath, and bushes” and “the cottage was quickly enveloped by the flames” (Shelley 179). Additionally, Shelley does not describe how bloody Elizabeth is murdered by the creature, she just simply describes “[Victor] [hears] a shrill and dreadful scream” on the upper floor and latterly Elizabeth is found “lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed” (Shelley 247). Reading through these details, readers horripilate easily and immediately know that how evil the creature is by how merciless Elizabeth is attacked. The monster approaches such quickly and horribly that everyone is unable to do anything except tranquilly standing beside the bed and witness the death of poor Elizabeth (Shelley). Based on the gothic materials, the scenes quoted from the novel of Shelley are depicted impressively and truly without using any extremely horror scenes: the image of the cottage burning in the flame or the death of poor Elizabeth (Shelley). The words in these paragraphs are used rationally but descriptively to show truly how evil the reality is portrayed through the metaphoric symbols. On the contrary, in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the assaulting scenes are depicted much more violently and horribly: Hyde “trample[s] calmly over the child’s body and left her screaming on the ground” (Stevenson 35). From this detail, the readers can see how abusive the reality is when the woman is attacked fearfully by Mr. Hyde. Based on the gothic materials, the brutality of the crimes can be expressed and implied in many ways but it still reflects truly about what is going on in our daily life. Gothic material is a rich environment where the Shelley and Stevenson can freely write on their fictions together with raising their voice critically toward the evils.
Furthermore, based on the gothic materials, the writers can raise their grievances against the discriminations from the society. This topic is always a hot one at the present time such as the racists of humanity toward the LGBT community or discriminations against the skin colors, ethnicities, and religions in our real life. Thoroughly using the rich and metaphorical gothic materials, the authors still can raise their voice toward these topics humanely as the criticism is not being weakened at all. The image of the abusive public opinion toward strange creatures has been mentioned and analyzed in Frankenstein. Due to the differences in physical appearances, the creature is abandoned by his creators as well as the villagers (Shelley). The crime is not what he creates, it is how he treats his created “child”. At first, he seems to be proud of what he manipulates; but after a nightmare, his attitude towards the creation changes significantly (Shelley). His dreary emotions start spreading out after he gets a nightmare as he “escape[s], and rushe[s] down stairs” and tries to neglect the existence of that creature (Shelley 86).
Instead of taking good care of it, he abandons it and thinks that it may die because of starvation or diseases (Shelley). On the other hand, the villagers refer this creature as a hideous monster after meeting him the first time when he approaches. The cruelty of the society is described through the detail that the villagers attack this creature: the creature is “grievously bruised by stones and other kinds of missile weapons” (Shelley 143). From this point, the readers can figure out that how abusive the villagers are as they are ready to attack this creature no matter how good or bad he is; since he is so different from what affirms to be a human. These mentioned details imply that the images of the ferocious “monster” still exists in the preconceptions of the societies. To defense, humankind gives themselves a right to decide the fate of someone else who can vulnerably be injured as the society considers that is the way to keep them safe. In the horror movie Get Out of Jordan Peele, the condemnation and accusations of the racisms have been expressed throughout the movie by the metaphorical symbols. Based on the cinematic gothic materials, the horror details as well as the romantic details of gothic materials seem to have more space to be described from the performances of the actors. Gestures, actions, and speeches of the actors in the Get Out indeed have a stronger depth and fascination to attract the audiences than literary works can do. What is heard and what is seen from the movies become more real even though they are the just the fantasy details of gothic materials. The symbolisms in this movie can be listed such as the “cotton picking” or the “deer” in Get Out (Chack). The cotton picking of Chris in the movie to prevent him from being hypnotized is actually a metaphorical signal that recall the audience about the historical events – the black man is dominated and slaved on the cotton fields (Kay). With the horror factor, it is expressed through the chase between the characters as well as the terrifying defense of Chris against the evil if he does not want to be a victim of the crimes (Peele). Moreover, almost the core of gothic material, science and fantasy elements are used to increase the coherence and persuasiveness of the film. The ambition of possessing the strong bodies of black people by the method of brain transplantation is the metaphorical details for the jealousy and discrimination of society against a race (Peele). The gloomy darkness and obsessive mysteries, the creepy and dreamy sounds, as well as the scary jump – scares have provided Peele a great background to show impressively what he thought about the problems of reality.

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