Tony Rivers is a fictional character in the 1950s movie, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf ." Tony is a troubled young man who has a lot of anger issues. He gets into fights and looses his temper easily in situations where he gets messed with or is angry. One day, Tony visits a psychiatrist to try and settle his anger issues. But the doctor has other plans. He decides to inject Tony with a serum that will turn him into a werewolf as an experiment to see what happens. Tony transforms into a werewolf and then goes on murder rampages throughout the movie. This happens until then end when he gets shot and is last seen lying on the floor dead.
Symbol of Tony as a WerewolfTony represents a symbol for teenagers who grow up and face challenges along the way. When teenagers are in high school, they tend to go through a lot of transformations and have to face personal and real issues. Tony represents a supernatural version of a troubled teenager who is trying to find his way. Throughout the movie, Tony does not want to accept what has happened to him and tries to ignore his problems through violence, anger and being distant from people. Tony is forced to accept himself as a werewolf, just as teenagers are forced to accept themselves for who they are as they get older and deal with reality. Tony ends up dying at the end of the movie because he is unable to deal with who he truly is. He does not control is temper or violence and ends up letting the dark side of him (the werewolf) take over. Tony represents an "American Tragedy, " which means he is a symbol for a teenager who loses his way and becomes his own worst nightmare.
Tony, Arlene and Victorian Ideas
In the movie, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf," Tony is portrayed as a masculine and strong male character. He has a girlfriend, Arlene, and she is shown as having many Victorian woman qualities. For example,"women were considered physically weaker yet morally superior to men," (Hughes). Arlene fits this description because she is very delicate and was a lot smaller than Tony. Tony also was superior over her, which men tended to be during the Victorian period.
When Tony meets Arlene's parents, they are skeptical about him and are very protective of her. Also, "advice literature presented a woman’s ‘moral influence’ as a result of her ‘natural and instinctive habits,'" (Furneaux). This shows that women during that time were presented to be pure and had natural instincts to become wives and mothers. Such as women like Arlene in the 1950s. They were charming, well mannered and were always dressed up nice. Tony takes dominance over her because he is stronger and it was normal back then for women to be weaker than men, which is not the case today.
1. "I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Dir. Gene Fowler Jr. American International Pictures, 1957. Film.
2. Hughes, Kathryn. “Gender Roles in the 19th Century.” Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians. British Library, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
3. Furneaux, Holly. "Victorian sexualities." The British Library. The British Library, 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.