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Growing Up: a Beastly Process

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Transforming from a human to a werewolf may seem like a seamless process in the movies, but transforming from a teenager to an adult is no walk in the forest. The figure of the werewolf is the beastly embodiment of the frustration, aggression, and violence that is often a part of the growing up process. The teenage experience is one filled with hormones, insecurity, confusion, and a search for one’s own identity. The hormones usually result in increased aggression, especially for male teenagers, while the insecurity and confusion often result in frustration and a desire to lash out as a result of feeling unstable and vulnerable. In the film “I was a Teenage Werewolf,” the main character Tony is a high school student who is prone to aggression. He is often found in circumstances, and fights, in which he loses his self-control and lashes out. Most likely, Tony’s actions were, initially, simply, the result of teenage angst and an increase in testosterone production. However Tony’s therapist, Dr. Brandon, takes advantage of Tony’s predisposition to aggression, and instead of helping the poor kid, he uses Tony for his own scientific curiosity, and begins turning Tony into a werewolf. In this moment is the beginning of the transformation of Tony not only from human to werewolf, but also from teenager to adult. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Tony is forced to realize that not only does the world not revolve around his teenage (or werewolf) desires, but also that not everyone in the world is out to help you.

Realizing that not everyone in the world can be trusted could possibly be considered one of the hardest moments of becoming an adult. Common to another werewolf theme, Little Red Riding Hood is a great example of this adult realization. By trusting the wrong people, one can end up steered down the wrong path, or eaten, whether by the wolf himself or this sometimes beastly world we live in.

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