In the film I Was a Teenage Werewolf the main character Tony is troubled and lashes out in anger based on his surroundings. In connection to this, it is prevalent that the film makers portrayed society as the true monster and creator of darkness. The theme is then based on who the monster really is—Dr. Brandon or Tony? When Tony decides to visit Brandon he is given a mild sedative to keep him relaxed during the hypnosis. Brandon decides selfishly to use Tony as his guinea pig for his experiment. When Brandon heads into his lab he talks to his assistant Wagner about how Tony is the perfect one for his experiment. Wagner is worried about Brandon’s actions and tells him that he would be sacrificing a human life, but Brandon’s response is, “do you cry over a guinea pig?” While Tony ends up killing four people and a dog whilst in his wolf form, the audience can’t help but see that Brandon is equally to blame. Tony was not in full control when he became a werewolf, whereas Brandon had complete control over his own actions, that is unleashing one human’s savage or primitive instincts all to make his point proven to receive credit and glory, he even said “what’s one life compared to such a triumph?” This seems to be a common theme in werewolf stories, that the literal werewolf is simply cursed by their environment causing them to act out in outlandish ways. Society can have a significant effect on the psychology of the human mind, if there is an imbalance, a person can end up with abnormalities and depressive or bitter states of mind. A great example of this includes the 2010 film The Wolfman that shows how a good person Lawrence can be inflicted by evil and become cursed. The true monster ends up being Lawrence's father Sir John. Tony is only a teenager who seems to have anger issues, he grew up without a mother and was always a good boy as his father describes, but it is Dr. Brandon who brings out the terror and forces Tony into becoming a monster. The true monster is Dr. Brandon in this case and Wagner his assistant is also to blame, for all he did was talk about how wrong Brandon was but never did anything about it, he followed Brandon like a coward.
This theme of society making monsters closely relates to the article Gender Roles in the 19th Century by Kathryn Hughes when she discusses how men could interact freely with prostitutes while women were to remain abstinent until marriage. When syphilis began to threaten more and more people, the prostitutes were forced into hospitals not able to make any income while men could continue infecting women and later infecting the wife they chose to marry. Yet still if a woman was seen to be “forward” in the presence of a man she was considered to have a sexual appetite and society would judge and turn away from her (Hughes). This article expresses how society can often make a monster by disregarding sensibility and adopting injustice. As for I Was a Teenage Werewolf Tony is not a woman who is challenged by society based on his gender role, he is young adult in the 1957 that stands as a symbol of sociopolitical discourse and the anxieties that came from youth culture during time (Alexander). Overall, the film may show how Tony’s age group has a rebellious side that is locking up traditionalist values in the past and keeping it prisoner there; but, the main theme of the film is representing how society acts on human behavior and this is where universal morality comes to make the audience question their actions and how they perceive or define a “monster”.
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