Keeping the grading criteria in mind, reflect on the Rhetorical Analysis. What grade do you deserve and why?
What is a monster? Write your own definition of the word Monster.
Monster Culture (Seven Theses)
Our purpose for the first half of class is to understand the seven theses on Monsters and to develop a good resources that will help us to remember and use the theses in our writing.
We read Cohen’s Monster Culture: Seven Theses for today. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that we can read “cultures from the monsters they engender” (3). This is chapter one of his book Monster Theory: Reading Culture.
From the editor/author’s website:
We live in a time of monsters. Monsters provide a key to understanding the culture that spawned them. So argue the essays in this wide-ranging and fascinating collection that asks the question, What happens when critical theorists take the study of monsters seriously as a means of examining our culture?
In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, the contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks, and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease that pervade a society and shape its collective behavior. Through a historical sampling of monsters, these essays argue that our fascination for the monstrous testifies to our continued desire to explore difference and prohibition. JeffreyJeromeCohen.com
- Thesis I. The Monster’s Body Is a Cultural Body (4)
- Thesis II. The Monster Always Escapes (4)
- Thesis III. The Monster Is the Harbinger of Category Crisis (6)
- Thesis IV. The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference (7)
- Thesis V. The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible (12)
- Thesis VI. Fear of the Monster Is Really a Kind of Desire (16)
- Thesis VII. The Monster Stands at the Threshold . . . of Becoming (20)
In groups, develop a list of the important points, lessons, takeaways, quotes, and examples that we need to know in order to understand the thesis. Write a short summary explaining the points of the thesis. Make sure you label which thesis you are writing about. This is very important because we will be using monster theory to write the last two essays in the course. The better we understand the theory, the better we will be able to apply it.
What makes vampires monstrous?
Activity: Still-Life Writing
- List as many concrete details as you can see.
- List as many unique observations as you can.
- Write as descriptively as possible about the text.
- Use Adjectives – a word that describes, identifies or further defines a noun or a pronoun.
- Adverbs – Kindly, slowly, here, often, and very are examples of adverbs. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
- Descriptive language – appeals to the reader’s five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.
- Metaphors – a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things that aren’t alike but do have something in common.
Use this strategy for your primary sources. Build on your concrete observation and evoke the image for your reader.
Dracula is the most famous vampire in literature and film.
Here is the latest film in Dracula’s long history. Dracula Untold (2014)
Finally, the last image to analyze.
mon·ster noun 1. an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.
Evaluating Monsters Essay 3
For the third essay, you will be evaluating a monster across different media.
One of the most important skills you can learn in academic writing is how to incorporate sources. To help remember this, we will use the metaphor of the quotation sandwich.
[Monsters] are disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration” (6).
Use this quote in the quote sandwich.
For Example: Cohen emphasizes that monsters “are disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration” (6). The hybrid aspect is important to understand because it means that monsters are not like us. They do not fit into a simple classification, rather, they are parts of two or more classifications, making them something that does not occur naturally.
Find a quote from Monster Culture (Seven Theses) to make a quote sandwich. This will be very helpful when you begin writing your draft.
Comment below with your quotation sandwich from class.