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The Reality of Cohen's "Monster Culture"

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Jeffrey Cohen's [1]work provides a unique insight on examining contemporary vampire stories and subcultures, as exemplified his article "Monster Culture: Seven Theses", which provides an extremely relevant take on interpreting contemporary vampire stories and subcultures.

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Vampire stories and subcultures provide a unique insight into the cultures in which they were created and essentially serves as a means to represent conflicts between the society and the individual. In accordance to Jeffrey Cohen,

“monsters ask us how we perceive the world, and how we have misrepresented what we have attempted to place. They ask us to reevaluate our cultural assumptions about race, gender, sexuality, our perception of difference, our tolerance toward it’s expression. They ask us why we have created them"[2] (Cohen).

Thesis IV: The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference    Edit

The vampire character has been historically depicted as an exemplary figure of social exclusion, as an outsider excluded from mainstream society, yet somehow still alluringly admirable, attractive, and relatable. As noted by Cohen, the Vampire figure represents deviance from the social standard, real fears, anxieties and fascinations occurring in society and the ways in which people reacted to changing socioeconomic factors, “monster is difference made flesh, come to dwell among us… the monstrous difference tends to be cultural, political, racial, economic, sexual.” Representing a deviant culture as monstrous justifies its displacement in society.

This can be exemplified through Swedish film "Let The Right One In",

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in which Oscar gets seeks revenge from being bullied from his new vampire friend Eli.[3]

REFERENCES

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 1996. 3-25.

Let the Right One In (dir. Thomas Alfredson, 2008)


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