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Jeffrey Cohen's book "Monster Theory" which contains "Monster Culture (seven Theses)"

One of Jeffrey Cohen’s most influential works is [ “Monster Culture (seven Theses)”] which was written in order to explain the possible reasons why different cultures create monsters. More than one thesis can apply when analyzing the reason behind the creation of a monster and that is usually the case. For contemporary vampire stories, these theses play an important role in divulging the true intentions and motivation for utilizing vampires.

There is a purpose behind every story, a message that the author is trying to portray. Sometimes this message is clear and other times it requires a more symbolic approach to the analyzation. For vampire stories, Cohen simplifies the interpretation process by giving a basis for what a monster symbolizes or what the significance is of certain aspects about the vampire. His theses are based mostly off of the idea that the origin, both time and place, play a major role in the themes that a monster represents. For many regions there are common themes such as gender, sexuality, fear, desire, and other controversial topics but Cohen argues that the specific background to every society is important. For instance, he mentions many times that a country at war will often show their monsters as similar to their enemies by making the monster embody stereotypes held within the society about their enemies and then magnifying the bad qualities (Cohen 7-8). Since the majority opinions on controversial topics are always changing and regions are not constantly at war it can be assumed then that the vampires throughout history are constantly changing as well.

Modern stories portray the vampire is a sexual light far different than those of the original recounting of vampires. Most modern stories show vampires as tormented with redeemable quality as in Twilight and [

The Vampire Diaries]. Whereas early retellings, such as “Bucket of Blood” and “The Vampire” portray the vampire as a being that must be destroyed at all costs. This contrast shows that vampires which embody the difference among a community that are commonly shunned are, in contemporary stories, looked at in a favorable light leading to interpretations of its own. This prevailing quality of vampires to embody everything that is considered taboo has transformed from a warning to the readers of what to avoid into a way to comment on and disagree with certain ideals and values. Cohen’s theses allow us to pick up on what a vampire is supposed to represent and then interpret the condemnation it places on society or on certain aspects of it.

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