Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's Monster Culture; Dracula Untold. (Research Paper Sample)
Use a variety of contextual, theoretical, and argument sources to produce an insightful argument about the meaning and significance of a specific, modern “monstrous” exhibit. Your exhibit will be a film or television show of your selection.
This assignment asks you to use ideas from “Monster Culture” and expand outward, following your own intellectual curiosities to explore the “monstrous” in contemporary media. You will use the theoretical frame provided by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen in “Monster Culture” to guide your interpretation of the exhibit. The exhibit you choose should somehow deal with the theme of monsters. You must consider how analysis of your exhibit complicates or extends the arguments made in “Monster Culture,” and influences the intellectual conversation surrounding it. Other than that, you have a great deal of freedom. You will be required to conduct independent research on the “monstrous,” and on the film or television show of your choosing, and use that research to support the argument you make concerning your exhibit.
Imagine you are writing to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of a respected scholarly student journal focused on modern visual culture and the media. The journal is distributed to colleges and universities across the county.
Note: Incorporate and cite 3-6 sources in your argument other than “Monster Culture.” At the very least, 2 of the sources you use should be the product of your independent research (i.e. we didn't read them in class).
1. Continue to develop the skills established by the two previous assignments: use the introduction to orient the reader and lay out the problem you are exploring; formulate a strong claim; establish a motive; maintain a coherent structure; use evidence fairly and persuasively.
2. Integrate your sources with deliberation and purpose. The sources can be used to articulate the motive, establish an intellectual conversation, provide context of key terms, analyze evidence to support your claim, or argue with other interpretations. Document sources using MLA in-text citation. Include a Works Cited page. Practice ICE (introduce, cite, explain).
3.Have cohesion and coherence in your prose on the sentence level and on the paragraph level. Your diction should be precise.
4.Have an interesting and informative title.
Monster Culture; Dracula Untold.
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's ‘Monster Culture' develops a new focal point that uses monster characters as the basis for understanding cultural themes developed by the society's political, social, and economic aspects, situations, or events. The social, political, and economic aspects of the society's culture do not necessarily emanate from the local historical background of humanity but also feature in the imaginative edge of human beings as they embrace their innate fears or curiosities. Cohen elaborates on the new perspectives for which he advocates regarding monster theory in the film industry, and provokes a continuous discussion on the topic that continues even in today's production companies. The seven theses he highlights in his book create a more vivid picture that revolutionized the both the industry's and viewer's perception of the monster characters in movies. A critical analysis of most movies utilizing a monster character is in tandem with Cohen's seven theses with some developing and embracing the newly created principles behind the use of such characters.
The film industry has a habit of relieving or reenacting the history to portray its perception of the society's cultural development. The use of monsters to relay the negative side of our cultural history is not a new phenomenon but rather a seasoned idea that has been in use for a very long time. Consequently, history became the foundation upon which many creative minds, thinking of incorporating any form of monstrosity in their works, developed their monster characters. In a nutshell, history forms the backbone of humanity's culture and its development. Cohen offers a different perspective that disregards the old notion and provides an insightful lens through which an individual can read cultural aspects developed by the monstrous characters. He states that “Rather than argue a “theory of teratology,” I offer by way of introduction to the essays that follow, a set of breakable postulates in search of specific cultural moments.” (Cohen, 3-4). Hence, the audience can easily relate to the message being delivered by the monster character by using Cohen principles to analyze the monstrous scenes of the movie, Dracula Untold. Establishing a correlation between Cohen's principles on monstrosity and the current movie industry requires an understanding of what the seven theses entail. The first thesis, for instance, commenced a reconnaissance of some sort in the film industry against the shallow perception of the monsters for just their physical appearance and effect thereof slowly died away. The thesis states that “the monster's body is a cultural body,” and thus, a representation of various aspects of culture that exist or have been in existence in equally distinct forms (Cohen, 4). The second thesis focuses on the slippery nature of the monsters that makes it almost impossible to capture or hold them captive. According to Cohen, the monsters have a way of appearing and disappearing exercising their will whenever and wherever they will. Often portrayed as the antagonists in most films, monsters always have reincarnation abilities in that they keep coming back from death or find a way out of their captivity however complex the dungeons (Cohen, 4-5).
Thirdly, the monsters lack relative features of classification that can put them into a single group of species. The fourth principle can easily find a relation to the current world which makes monsters of anything or anyone that is characteristically different from them. Cohen simply says that monsters make for anything that is perceivably different (Cohen, 7). The fifth concept that Jeffery outlines is that the often demonized characters...
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