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1 Introduction: This thesis argues that the genre of horror, both in print and on film, uses fear and expressions of liminality to allow readers as well as viewers to create a safe space or distance from the text, and to mask the exploration of underlying co ntroversial issues. This distance between the world of the audience and that of the narrative is precisely what enables reader/viewers to engage in the exploration and discussion of controversial topics; including but not limited to sexuality, powers of cr eation, the nature of humankind, and substance abuse. The feelings of fear that effectively mask this underlying discourse stem from an allusion to that which is life threatening, but also from the suggestion that this dangerous fictional world is similar to ours, but it is buffered by a sense of difference between the narrative the actual fictionality of the work. First, these creatures are represented as importantly separate from humanity; they are liminal and mons trous in themselves. However, they mimic humanity just enough to make readers question their own relation to these beings. Secondly, the presence of the monstrous establishes the narrative as fictional. These creatures and the world they inhabit are othere d; they are familiar but not truly of the world of the reader. Readerly anxiety caused by either the monsters themselves or the problems they mask can be neutralized by reminding ourselves that nothing in the narrative is real. This deniability is what all ows the reader to participate in underlying discourses of the novels examined here ( Frankenstein Jekyll and Hyde Dracula Carmilla ), taboo topics of the time period, without feeling threatened. Something similar is at work in the twentieth and twenty fir st century horror films with which I conclude, although the taboos have shifted.
2 Although I believe this is a phenomenon that is widespread in horror, my literary work has separated itself into two categories: the primitive or animalistic form of horror, and the philosophical novel of horror. My first chapter addresses the primitive by focusing on literature featuring one or more animalistic/bestial monsters exemplified in Dracula Carmilla (1872). These works are on one hand interested in the interaction between the human and what is seen as primitively animal. It is in the liminal space between these two concepts that Dracula and Carmilla exist, and from this ambiguity they derive their horror. However, this primi tive nature is a reflection of their underlying importance: these types of monsters address and our more primitive urges. In contrast, the social monster of the secon d chapter is interested in the onster from Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus counterpart, Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886). Unlike the monsters of the first chapter, these characters are created outside of nature through a version of science, and each exists definitively within the confines of western civilization. They are made liminal not by an association wit h the natural or bestial, but because of an inability to fit in; although they are social creatures by nature, they are not welcome in human society. As the primitive creatures of the first chapter used animality to address questions about the more primal aspects of humanity problems, this chapter uses more civilized creations to address problems that could be called more high minded, or philosophical.
3 My final chapter turns from the nineteenth to the twentieth and twenty first century to explore how the ci nematic adaptations of these popular stories, and the more general perpetuation of horror in film, including the advent of new monsters, has affected the genre. Some films have drawn from these earlier, literary myths; they have adapted these narratives an d maintained their underlying functions. Others have altered them to address new contemporary anxieties. This is evident in that which is monstrous and how it is depicted. In this way, the analysis of cinema, as the modern medium of horror, illustrates how horror has changed as a result of social and cultural change. clarification to be truly useful. First, the novels I exa mine are not always designated as Webster's collegiate dictionary defines horr dismay. 1 From this definition it seems that for a work to be categorized as horror, it needs only to provoke these feelings in its readers or viewers. I believe that the works I have selected accomplish this. How ever, my use of horror as a descriptive term and as a means of categorization in this analysis is limited to a much more specific sub set of work. Horror, as I am defining it, must embody something more than just fear; it is more than just a sensational ta le featuring gore and death. There must be a deeper purpose to the exhibition of that which is unsettling or grotesque. These works are ever changing, using 1 Horror."
4 the monstrous and unsettling as a way to symbolize and address our fears as a society. This quality which cannot be made safe 2 Why these works?: I chose to focus my analysis on works which evoke feelings of fear and disgust in readers through the use of liminal monstrous ent ities, figures that are simultaneously human like but also somehow grotesque and other. I eliminated narratives that create fear through the use of evil but more definitively human characters: murderers, ghosts, and so on. This was more a practical issue t han a theoretical one. An analysis of all the various forms of horror would be an even more massive undertaking. This exclusion is not meant as an assertion that the phenomenon I have identified is limited only to expressions of the monstrous, but instead, this analysis should act as a limited and specific example of how horror operates on a larger scale. I chose the specific works ( Dracula Carmilla Frankenstein Jekyll and Hyde ) for my discussion because I have found them to be some of the most iconic works of horror. When you think of monstrous figures that have permeated our culture, vampires, Frankenstein's creature, and the evil doppelganger like Mr. Hyde are among the first to come to mind. These stories are well known, and most are familiar with t he popular myth if not the textual work. These myths have not only become a valuable part of our culture, but have grown with us. Many modern films and horror stories have grown from these 2 "What Is Horror Fiction?"
5 early narratives, and it was this continuing interest and popularit y across time periods in these monsters that interested me. What is liminality and how does it work here? : Liminality is, overarchingly, a quality that is found in each of the monsters we will examine. Although the term originates outside of literary theor y, it is a useful term to describe and identify key aspects of the monstrous. Simply put and very basically defined, liminality is marked by a transitional state, being at a threshold. 3 Each of the monstrous figures we will examine is somehow liminal, as t his analysis will reveal. Dracula and Carmilla exist in a liminal area between human and animal. They cannot fully be a part of either world, and are consequentially trapped in a permanently transitional state eously human and non human. His transition from a pieced together, inanimate corpse to a living, social ly functional being is never fully realized. It is from this that he derives his horror. Jekyll an physical being is a literal e xpression of liminality. After concerned with how Jekyll becomes Hyde and the frightening, liminal state in between which is described as grotesque and utterly horrific. I believe that there is something we find inherently frightening about liminality and that this fact is expressed in these works. It is essentially a fear of th e unknown. In the liminal state that these monsters exist they are unknown, unidentifiable, and con sequently frightening. 3 Turner (512 13)
6 Chapter One : The Sexual Nature of the Bestial Monster Works such as Dracula and Carmilla rely on the presence of animalistic creatures, their primitive behaviors and bestial appearance, as a means evoking fear in readers. Because of this the narrative is able to explore more complex and controversial issues, such as sexuality and sexual deviance, without facing them head on. The vampire narrative of these stories essentially hides a deeper concern with sexuality, a primitive and uncivilized subject. The monstrous becomes symbolic of these concerns, and so these monsters are themselves a reflection of the primal nature of these problems, but they are superficially made animal by a relation to the natural and supernatural. This claim may at first seem contradictory; how can these creatures be natural, but also be an e xpression of something beyond nature ? However, these c ategories are not mutually exclusive and in fact, are collapsed in these texts. These creatures can be called natural because they do not result from the manipulation or alteration of the existing world. Instead they appear suddenly in natural settings, s uggesting that they both come from and belong in the wilderness. This connection to the natural is further supported by a frequent juxtaposition to detailed descriptions of both animals and nature, and a separation from the social world of civilization. Fo r example, these creatures are often only able to enter human habitation only on certain conditions of invitation. Additionally, they resemble animals in both their appearance and behaviors. This is indicated by the use of fangs, a tendency to hunt or stal k their prey, among other things. These monsters even feed themselves like animals using their hands and mouths, which is both animalistic and primitively sexual.
7 Occasionally, when a narrative does attempt to provide an explanation for how these creature s came into being there is a heavy reliance on the supernatural or demonic. This is no surprise because of the Gothic tradition that these books, Dracula and Carmilla inhabit. However, it is important that this does not break from the idea of the natural The supernatural explanations given are treated as equally rational and valid as objective fact or natural occurrence. In short, the supernatural is treated as essentially natural, which further establishes the monstrous as a part of the natural, animal world. These connections to the animal are an essential part of what makes these monsters frightening to nineteenth century, and even modern, readers. Their bestial nature should feel dangerous, because it is their animal aspects that directly threaten th e lives of human characters. It also establishes these creatures as liminal; although they in some ways mimic the appearance and behavior of humans, they are simultaneously inhuman, ani mal. Their animal aspects mark tly diverge from social norms concerning both behavior and appearance. It is these differences that mark monsters as grotesque and subsequently make them both unsettling and repulsive. This revulsion is one of the most prominent aspects of these works that evokes feelings of horror in the reader that characters. As the introduction discusses, it is these feelings of horror that allow for the discussion of problematic topics within the texts. In works featuring bestial monsters these issues are closely tied to the animalistic or primitive. Specifically, narratives like Dracula and Carmilla question how human nature relates to the animality of these monsters; readers must ask themselves if we as a species are safe becaus e we are not like
8 them, or are we tainted because we share their core animality? Furthermore, what is to be seen as primitive and animal like, or as a civilized aspect of humanity? Dracula : The novel, Dracula ivilization and into the foreign wilderness of Transylvania. It opens with an entry from his personal journal, in which he describes his travels and recalls his English origins by mentioning London. England is a center of civilization, a place from where n othing dangerous originates. Moving further and further away from this safe haven, Harker travels to Transylvania, a place marked as both foreign, and consequently dangerous. 4 During his travels Harker passes through increasingly smaller and more remote t owns, leaving behind the comfort and safety of civilization. In his narration, he repeatedly points out the picturesque and natural scenery, establishing the presence of nature. He also shows an interest in the peasants and their uncivilized appearance, an d draws attention to their outdated superstitions, which marks them as primitive while also foreshadows the coming events of the narrative. Because of these superstitions, the s home. This indicates that Dracula is still further removed from society and more primitive than these already undesirable villagers, representative of the rapidly diminishing presence of society. Regardless of these warnings, Harker continues on his jour 4 Another theme of the novel is beginning to emerge. Harker and England are marked as civilized and characterized as positive entities and influences, while Dracula and Transylvania are repeatedly identified as foreign and threatening. The narrative expresses a distrust of the foreign and could also be insi nuating that there is a link between foreignness and the primitive or animal.
9 entirely natural, secluded environment. Although he is still separated from nature by the coach in which he rides, nature very quickly becomes a dangerous and aggressive force. coach, the meager but protective product of civilization that protects him, becoming more invasive each time that they appear. These animals, a symbol of the natural an d animal world, are depicted not only as a bestial but also as distinctly threatening creatures, Directly after this tense interaction with nature, Harker finds himself at a dilapidated castle which is itself isolated and surrounded by woods. Although the castle in some ways is a product and symbol of human labor and civilization, it exists significantly outside of the human and social world. It is a symbol of an abandoned, deteriorating social tradition, one which Dracula, as a count, both represents and clings to. This separates the castle and its vampiric inhabitant from contemporary nineteenth century life and establishes them more as an integral part of the wild and of the uncivilized past is surrounded by woods into which it is degenerating, crumbling and slowly being overtaken by the wild and natural landscape. It is from this building the figure of Dracula first a ppears. The juxtaposition of asserts that Dracula himself is somehow connected to these bestial wolves, a part of the raction with the Count implies that there is still more inhuman and monstrous about the Count. Of this initial meeting and his entrance into the castle Harker writes:
10 Within stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in bl ack from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the op en door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in courtly English but with a strange intonation: -motion of stepping to meet me, but stoo d like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone. The instant, however that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it seemed as cold as ice more like the hand of a dead than a living man. (Stoker 21 22) mimic humanness, he does not posses the ability or knowledge to adopt and comply with therefore increasingly similar to the animal. Additionally he is associated with the natural through the comparison to stone and ice, elements of the natural world. Harker blatantly strength, a trait which is often represented as primitive or uncivilized. In this passage, we see that Dracula i s the first character, other than a brief acknowledgment of an
11 unidentified and largely unseen carriage driver 5 with whom Harker interacts after his experience in the wild. However, before his entrance into the castle, even the driver of the carriage aban dons Harker, mysteriously disappearing and leaving him alone on the grounds surrounding the castle. Stoker does not even interject a servant into this scene, the Count, bu dangerous immersion in the inhospitable natural world to an image of Dracula, linking the two concepts in the minds of readers. The idea of Dracula as somehow separate from or outsi de of modern human society and as an uncivilized creature, which pushes him away from society and toward the primitive and animal, is continually reinforced by the associations made between Dracula, outdated social conventions, and cultural artifacts, such as his castle. Dracula is still early on in the novel, not much is yet known about the Count but he is already being e novel continues, these associations only become stronger. The idea of his body as somehow animal like, inhuman, even grotesque, becomes even more apparent as the novel progresses. bestial and inhuman qualities arises when H arker behavior becomes more and more like that of an animal. Harker states: 5 It is insinuated that this character, the coach driver, might be Dracula. However, their interaction is extremely limited, and because of its ambiguity, it is reasonable to co nsider the definitive first appearance of Dracula to be at the entrance to his castle.
12 My feelings cha nged to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over that dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings. At first I thought it was some trick of the moonlight, some weird effect of shadow; but I kept looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality move downwards with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a wall. (Stoker 39) This excerpt directly aligns Dracula with the animalistic and describes him in as bestial. Instead of vague allusions to his associations with the natural/animal world Harker is making a direct comparison. In this passage, he likens Dracula to a cold blooded lizard 6 clearly associating him with the animal, and establishing the Count as a grotesque and inhuman physical entity. This connection between Dracula and a liza rd associates him with th e reptilian and almost serpent like which is commonly an indication of moral ambiguity, if not outright evil. 7 He appears to have wings, and his fingers and toes gri p the wall beneath him like claws, likening him to a bat. Again h e is being associated with that which is often a symbol of evil, or of the horrific and foreboding. seems to disturb Harker deeply. Not only does the Count appear inhuman, but he also moves and behaves in a way that is humanly impossible, defying the laws of science as they have been established within civilization. The selection above is but one of many of 6 body to that of a corpse. Here the idea of the Count as dead but also somehow alive (undead), and assertion that his body is in this way grotesque is reappearing. 7 A serpent is commonly used as a symbol of the devil, as it appears in the Adam and Eve narrative, and so this description also brings to mind the idea o f a demon or demonic influence.
13 these kinds of descriptions of Dracula that are embedded in the text ; descriptions such as these show a blending of the human and the bestial and define him as liminal and and that is read as inherently frightening. The conjunction here of human appearance with inhuman animal traits is should be unsettling to readers as it is to Harker, himself. Although, this narrative finds its main source of horror in this mixing of human and animalistic qualities, it has an underlying co ncern with sexuality. The horror of the bestial makes the discussion of sexuality possible by allowing readers to assert on at least a superficial level that this kind of behavior originates and exists only outside of civilized humanity. Although the two c oncepts are not always explicitly connected, they tend to appear with at the very least some significant correlation. The novel treats sexuality as something primitive and potentially threatening, something similar to, if not an established part of the ani malistic. For example, despite their engagement, Jonathan Harker and Mina are never described in a sexual way, nor are they explicitly shown to be sexually interested in each other. Instead their interaction appears primarily intellectual, and it is presen ted as one of the mind, rather than the body 8 This relationship seems to be sexualized bodily. wives, the three vampire women. The introduction and acknowledgment of these three women as wives or concubines which somehow belong to Dracula raises several questions. How did they become vampires? How did Dracula come to posses three of 8 This is reinforced by the fact that their interaction is primarily textual, and largely through letters. Because of the way the novel's is set up, they have limited opportunities for physical contact.
14 the se women? Why are was he actually married to them? These sorts of questions indicate a potential for these women to possess some kind of sexual knowledge, as well as alluding to potential for sexual deviance (polygamy). In these ways and others, the vampire women are highly sexualized characters. They are defined primarily by their physical attributes, and valued for their desirability. However, their description does not focus on the conventionally desirable aspects of female beauty. Inst ead they seem to focus on the mouth, their capacity for seduction and an a lmost aggressive sexual nature. These women, admittedly, play a limited role within the novel, but during his stay ion with them. In describing this meeting, Harker writes: The fair girl went on her knees, and bent over me, fairly gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her l ips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to about to fasten on my throat. Then she paused, and I could hear the churning sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot breath on my neck. The skin of le it approaches nearer nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited waited w ith beating heart. (Stoker 42 43)
15 This excerpt is overtly provocative and blatantly erotic; the language used makes this e use of as he slowly and tantalizingly builds up towards a climactic bite which is never actually realized. Further establishing the sexual tone of this passage, Harker focus es voluptuousness and desirable body. His narrative pays still more attention to her mouth. Harker provides a very detailed description of her lips, tongue, teeth and even her breath, taking time to point out the smaller, more intimate, details of her appearance and his experience of her. He is n ot only very literally and physically captivated by her, but also immobilized by his strange sexual desire. He desires to be bitten, desires physical contact feelings about these vampiric women, and more generally s depiction of them, seem conflicted. Although he in many ways desires these women, he fears them. It is some of the same qualities that make these women appealing that make them horrifying, and Harker seems to realize this. His fear, in reaction to the be stial qualities the fair woman and her companions. Within this narrative, the des irable and sexual nature of these women is shown as an aspect of their animal and monstrous existence. To in these women to their physical bodies and their p wives seem to elicit only a primitively sexual response from Harker. However, this is
16 stimulating relationship with Mina, which is depi cted very positively in the novel. He unable to perform in this way or fulfill Harker intellectually. These limitations indicate that these women and their sexually charged interactions with Harker are socially unacceptable, primitive, and subsequently animal. It is not just this limitation to the body that characterizes the vampire women as animal. The fair girl and her companions behave like wild animals, bending down to feed and licking their lips in impatient and hungry anticipation. They show no hesitation in touching Harker, putting their mouths to his skin. This sort of behavior sharply contrasts the civilized and socially appropriate behavior of women in the nineteen th century, again making them seem primitive and almost vulgarly aggressive in comparison. They are made masculine, and in this way, the above excerpt shows the inversion of stereotypical, Victorian era, gender roles. Harker in comparison is feminized by his passivity. He neither invites nor resists the advances of these women. He expresses to the reader a desire to be acted upon, but only waits, immobile and unable to realize his desires. This renders him in some ways impotent. He desires penetration by h er teeth, a kind of synecdoche for genital penetration, which again feminizes him, particularly in juxtaposition the more traditionally masculine traits of the vampire women. Unlike Harker in this scene, they are given the opportunity and the ability to pe netrate, their fangs acting as phallic and potentially invasive objects. The tongue of the fair girl Harker describes also seems distinctly phallic as it is thrust out of her m outh; it is probing, exploring and active. These women are even depicted as stro nger than Harker, physically dominating him. He in turn
17 is reduced to a captive, victim like role typically associated with Gothic heroines and nineteenth century ladies and characterized by the act of waiting, submissiveness and passivity. It can also be inferred that these women possess a sort of sexual knowledge, that Harker and more importantly Mina, as the female ideal, does not. The narrative makes it clear that a vampire is transformed by the bite of another Vampire ; 9 therefore in order for wives to become vampires, they must have been bitten, presumably by this can be a very erotic act. The vampiric bite has the potential to be pleasurable, but is also a n act of dominance and physical penetration of unbroken, one might say virginal, skin. This act effectively recreates the act of sex, specifically genital penetration, as an above the waist occurrence physically distancing the sexual act from genitalia an d allowing the narrative to distance itself from a direct discussion of the taboo subject of sexuality, in an attempt to lessen anxiety that nineteenth century readers might have felt when faced with this subject. This bite as a type of sexual experience m arks the transformatio sexually passive humans into defeminized and bestial monsters. This suggests that sexual experience for a woman, particularly one in which she can find pleasure or potentially become active, is not onl y problematic, and threatening, but also marks the beginning of a process leading to total corruption. 10 9 The idea of Vampiri sm as something contagious and communicable through one or more acts, being penetrated/penetrating another with fangs, which are throughout the narrative associated with the sexual and even described as sexual can also be read as an allusion to sexually tr ansmitted disease. 10 this relationshi p between predator and prey, a After being s he too becomes a monstrous beast, a grotesque figure an d primitively sexual being. She
18 Suddenly, at the end of this erotically charged scene, depicting the female vampires and their interaction with Harker, the Count enters. Instantly, Har female vampires, to his awareness of the Count. His examination and desc ription of these two entities, the female Vampires and Dracula, seem to require individual and almost complete attention from Harker; but when both parties are present the Count takes precedence. Harker again gives a very detailed description, concerned wi th the body, its Again, Dracula is being in equated to the sexually desirable, female vampires, because work. Dracula rescues Harker from the hungry and eager wives, at first this may seem to be contradictory to his bestial and uncivilized manners, but the gesture is not as kind as it are you cast (Stoker 43). This passage, given its context, is overwhelmingly homoerotic. The narrative has already implied that Harker, although perhaps subconsciously, sees the wives and Dracula almost as equals. In combination with the almost immediate juxtaposition to a blatantly erotic scene, this sense of equality seems to suggest the po tential for the erotic between Harker and Dracula. Furthermore, it insinuates that Dr acula has both the potential to physically act upon and bodily restrain or possess Harker, although perhaps only temporarily, as his vampire brides did. grows voluptuous, her lips redden, and she seems to gain sexual interest/desire. Her transf ormation is finalized by her Independence and personal agency.
19 heterosexual interacti on. He prevents Harker from being sexually penetrated or similarly violated by these entities that are physically female, despite their masculine qualities and phallic fangs. This also prevents Harker from becoming sexually experienced, because in this wor ld, the closest thing to genital sex that is openly discussed is the vampire's bite. g as a somewhat ambiguously suggestive statement. Although undoubtedly significant, this scene is but one of many in which the homoerotic relationship between Harker and the Count is constructed. 11 However, these homoerotic tensions and suggestive interact ions between the Count and Harker are often much more subtle, suggesting that ideas or an interest in the homoerotic or potentially homosexual were too problematic at the time of this novels conception and publication to be openly expressed or discussed, e late in the nineteenth century, that this kind of terminology began to appear and be acknowledged as useful terms. Largely, the issue of homosexuality and sexually deviant behavior was ignored whenev er possible. However, whenever brought to light the inhabitants of this time peri od revealed a pervasive fear of this type of behavior and a refusal to accept physical same sex relationship. Proof of this widespread concern with homosexuality, is the tre atment of sodomy as an immoral and criminal act, as well as the severe punishments that accompanied conviction throughout the 1800 s. As is this was not punishment enough, those even 11 Craft
20 suspected of sodomy were rejected from society and publicly shamed. 12 This hostile 13 This provides a context for and monstrous, not only is he protecting readers from being too quickly s hocked by the primitively sexual and homoerotic, but also distancing himself as an author from the homoerotic in his own work. It is because of this lack of social acceptance for same sex relationships, both romantic and sexual in nature, as well as the ge neral controversy that surrounded this subject, that the Count and Harker must make use of a female character, Mina, to interact with each other, using her as a type of intermediary. 14 Within the dialogue, Dracula explicitly points to his use of women as a mean s of gaining access and potentially control over other men. He tells Harker and his associates: You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest; but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuri es, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall be mine my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah! (Stoker 267) In this passage Dracula is openly admitting to viewing women such as Mina and Lucy, as a way to manipulate the men attached to them. By possessing or controlling these 12 Robb (19 27) 13 Oscar Wilde's persecution, only a few years before Dracula 's publication also suggests the very real presence of this social issue in Stoker's life and times. 14 Sedgwick (25 26)
21 narrative. This use of women as a mode of interact ion allows Dracula to interact with other men without appearing to challenge heterosexuality. 15 This suggestion of a homoerotic interest in men, the overt claim to subvert m sexuality in erotically charged ways, yet still stand s as a moral tale of heroic resistance by men to the invasion of a depraved other. As a whole, this argument, its clai ms and the analytical and textual evidence that supports it illustrate an understanding of Dracula as a work of literature, but more specifically as a work of horror, that postulates that this narrative uses primarily Count Dracula, and to a lesser degree his primitively sexual wives and the transformed Lucy, as monstrous figures to discuss the issues of sexuality both author and reader. Carmilla : Carmilla predates Dracula and likely provided a foundation for Stoker's work. Both works feature a vampiric monster that in some way preys upon a human protagonist. These two narratives share an interest in the animal, but more interestingly in the homoerotic. Bec ause of their similarities, many of the underlying truths and symbols of Dracula can also be found in Carmilla a disintegrating castle, Carmilla first appears in the midst o f a natural environment. When she first appears, the antagonist, Laura, and her father are taking a leisurely walk outside 15 Craft
22 the description of the landscape that act s as the backdrop to this scene. She describes the complete and very detailed picture of their natural surroundings. In this way, the novel emphasizes the natural, almo st pastoral aspects of this scene. At first the setting seems peaceful beautiful; it is definitely presented in a positive light. But it is in this setting that Carmilla suddenly and violently comes into view. Laura describes her entrance in a runaway car riage, heard before it is seen: Just before you reach the castle drawbridge, on the route they were coming, there stands by the roadside a magnificent lime tree, on the other stands an ancient stone cross, at sight of which the horses, now going at a pac e that was perfectly frightful, swerved so as to bring the wheel over the projecting roots of the tree. (Le Fanu 10) nature in a chaotic and violent manner. Despite th is, the description of this scene maintains a heavy focus on the depiction and overall presence of the natural world. For example, the location of the carriage containing Carmilla is pinpointed in relation to the predominantly natural landscape surrounding it. In the midst of all this action, Laura runaway horses in this passage are immediately juxtaposed with the appearance of Carmilla, connecting her with the wild b ehavior of these animals. The narrative doesn't explain why these horses are in a state of panic. These domesticated creatures might be responding to the predatory nature of Carmilla; they sense her threatening presence and
23 are frightened. This aligns her with the wild and natural, in contrast to the tamed carriage directly caused by the interference of the natural, untamed world. The horses, running out of control, run ov er projecting tree roots, causing the carriage to crash. From this crash Carmilla appears to sustain injuries that force her into the care of Laura and her father. This is not only her introduction into the novel and its readers, but also the beginning of a friendship between Laura and Carmilla. novel, it is not until sometime near the end of the novel that concrete details about her origin as a monstrous figure is revealed. On t his matter Laura writes: How does it begin, and how does it multiply itself? I will tell you. A person, more or less wicked, puts an end to himself. A suicide, under certain circumstances, becomes a vampire. That spectre visits living people in their slumb ers; they die, and almost invariably, in the grave develop into vampires. This happened in the case of the beautiful Mircalla 16 who was haunted by one of these demons. (Le Fanu 82) an moral action and provides a system for reproduction. Not only does Laura explain how the vampire begins, but she explains how these creatures continue their species through the transformation of other living humans. Her explanation feels definitively su pernatural; something is transgressed by a suicide, and that then reproduces itself in each new victim like a moral contagion. The occurrences that this passage describes are strange and unconstrained by the generally accepted laws of rationality and logic However, this 16 This is an a nagram of Carmilla
24 information is presented as fact, as if it were a known and natural occurrence. In this way, the novel creates its own system of logic; in this fictional world this is simply how the world works, making this seem strangely natural despite i ts eerie provenance. This reinforces the idea of Carmilla as a natural entity, but also as something inhuman. The narrative has le d us to believe that she is reborn as something more animal than human. The transformed woman, Carmilla, preys upon the Genera l's niece, and eventually on her companion Laura. When she feeds she moves like an animal and is (Le Fanu 72) Like the vampires of Dracula, she even has fanged teeth with which to penetrate her victims. To return in the crash of her carriage, forcing Laura and her unsuspecting father take her in. own age Carmilla and Laura become fast friends, It is this relationship between the innocent Laura and the mysterious Carmilla is the main focus and primary driving force of the novel., The bond between the two girls quickly begins to stretch the boundaries of e ven nineteenth century romantic friendship, spilling into the intensely romantic and eventually the sexual. 17 Early on in their friendship, Carmilla claims their relationship began long before their physical meeting. Laura has already told us of a strange d ream that she had as a child. When Laura tells Carmilla about her dream and that the other girl in the dream seemed to be Carmilla herself, Carmilla tells Laura: 17 Yue
25 I must tell you my vision about you; it is so very strange that you and I should have had, eac h of the other so vivid a dream, that each should have seen, I you and you me, looking as we do now, when of course we both were mere children. I was a child about six years old, and I awoke from a confused and troubled dream, and found myself in a room, u nlike my nursery, wainscoted clumsily in some dark wood, and with cupboards and bedsteads, and chairs, and benches placed about it. The beds were, I thought, all empty, and the room itself without anyone but myself in it; and I, after looking about me for some time, and admiring especially an iron candlestick, with two branches, which I should certainly know again, crept under one of the beds to reach the window; but as I got from under the bed, I heard someone crying; and looking up, while I was still upo n my knees, I saw you most assuredly you as I see you now; a beautiful young lady, with golden hair and large blue eyes, and lips your lips you, as you are here. Your looks won me; I climbed on the bed and put my arms about you, and I think we both fell as leep. (Le Fanu 18 19) As is evident in this passage this dream has suggestive, potentially sexual elements. m, Carmilla climbs into bed with Laura and wraps her in her arms. Although it is not depicted as an explicitly sexual action, they are sharing a bed in a way that, during this time period, an unmarried man and woman cannot. She puts her arms around Laura, expressing physical intimacy in addition to their intellectual bond. Finally, she tells Laura and us that the girls fall asleep leaving them potentially vulnerable. Suddenly, the dream takes a dark turn. Carmilla
26 claims that in this dream she heard Laura s cream, before losing consciousness and awaking in h er own nursery, but we are at this point in the narrative suspicious of and subsequently her account feels untrustworthy; what might she not be telling us? Laura too seems to not onl y recognize, but also have some memory of this dream, as if it were an actual event. Dreams are a private realm impenetrable by outsiders, and so this indicates an abnormally high level of intimacy and a connection powerful enough to share this experience, even at such a young age. These shared dreams form the foundation of the friendship between the two girls, and also offers an insight into the latent homoerotic relationship between them. Carmilla's ability to be a part of Laura's dream world is threate ning because of her venerable state. Not only is Carmilla imposing herself on Laura's unconscious, but since Laura is sleeping, she is physically passive; and so it is suggested that Carmilla could impose herself on Laura's inactive body. In f act, it is du ring this period vu lnerability Carmilla attacks her prey. Laura begins to fall ill. She is perpetually tired, insinuating that something is draining her energy and somehow interrupting her sleep. Eventually she dreams that she has been bitten on the chest and a small blue mark is found where the drea mt puncture occurred (Le Fanu 51) As the dreams become more frequent and more pronounced; among other things, she hears a sweet voice warning her and sees Carmilla at the foot of her bed drenched in blood (Le Fanu 41). It is even strongly implied that these visions are memories of actual
27 occurrence(s). 18 These dreams are clearly more like nightmares than her early vision of two young gir ls. As she sleeps she sees a cat like beast enter her room and bite her on the bedroom without opening the door. Around this time, it is also revealed that Carmilla is s leeping most of the day and sleep walking at night. Both the earlier shared dream between Carmilla and her innocent companion, and the discovery of her strange sleeping habits link Carmilla to these nightmares. Her her t o this cat like beast that is biting Dracula this work seems to be interested in the act of an active body biting or feeding on a passive one. As the discussion of Dracula explained, this is both a primitive and sexual act. Carmilla i s feeding and behaving herself like an animal, but she is also given a phallus with which to penetrate the passive and virginal Laura. Again the vampire is an inherently sexual being which allows genital sex to be symbolically performed well above the wais t. This physical act is another blatant indication of the homoerotic. This underlying erotic relationship is not wholly one sided. Even before these nightmares, Laura admits to feeling a distinct and powerful connection with her strange new compan ion, but this both excites and frightens her. In regards to Carmilla, she tells repulsion. In this ambiguous feeling, however, the sense of attraction immensely prevail 18 General Spielsdorf shares a story about his night that he hides in her closet. He sees the cat like creature enter and bite his sleeping and passive niece. When he attacks the beast it takes the form of Millarca and disappears through a lo cked door. However, since this story is separate from the main plot of the novel, removed from it by its placement in the past, and subject retelling, it is a somewhat unreliable narration.
28 (Le Fanu 19). It is evident that Laura feels some kind of attraction to Carmilla, and finds her attentions pleasurable, but also unsettling because she is unclear about the nat ure of their relationship. She seems to sense that these feelings are socially problematic, and so her very attraction to her friend is part of what repulses her. The vampiric elements of this story mask the novel's underlying expression of social anxiet y over this kind of intimate female friendship. At this time, a pair of female friends could share a much higher level of intimacy than an unmarried man and woman, and would perhaps, in some ways, share a closer bond that a husband and wife. They were not as restrained or regulated in their companionship. A heterosexual couple would require supervision and strict adherence to social rules until marriage, but an interaction between two females regardless of their level of friendship did not require outside o bservation and could potentially be very intimate. 19 Simultaneously these women were in many ways removed from men. The spheres of male and female existence were separated. Women could share aspects of their lives with other women and behave in a way that w ould be socially unacceptable with a man. The novel discusses this growing intimacy in addition to the acceptance of physical affection between women as homosocial female relat ionships and the fear of female homosexual pleasure. Like Dracula Carmilla masks an interest in the sexual and homoerotic (sapphic) with the use of a horror narrative. Although it explores these ideas, Carmilla, as the source of this deviant behavior and influence, is ultimately neutralized by her death The shared interests of these works mark an association between the m onstrous and primal human urges that is specific to the animal monster narrative. 19 Smith Rosenberg
29 Chapter Two : Man made Monsters and Philosophical Dile mmas: This next chapter moves away from the wooded and natural landscapes of Carmilla and Dracula, leaving behind the bestial figures of horror found there. In stark Frankenstein; or, the M odern Prometheus The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde originate and exist within the confines of European civilization, though at alter e go, Mr Hyde, have a much more pronounced presence within the human social world, and so are governed by societal expectations and socially established rules. Further reinforcing their status as creatures of human society, these beings do not appear in the narrative naturally. Instead, they are the direct result of human interference with the natural or accepted order of things. Their creators exert themselves against natural order and even reject socially accepted behavior in the very act of creation. In th ese works science is specifically used as a mode of creation, and it is presented as an unnatural, fantastic and often hubristic act. These two works are then arguably among the earliest forms of science fiction, because of their reliance on imagined scien tific advance as a plot mechanism and their engagement of scientific knowledge. The fantastic traits that this use of science gives these creatures and the grotesqueness of their bodies do mark them as monstrous, evoking feelings of horror in readers; unl ike Carmilla and Dracula, there is little to no reference to the animalistic in how they are described. Carmilla and Dracula appear monstrous because of the ways in which they fail to possess humanity and establish themselves rather as outsiders who prey o n humans, but in Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde horror is derived from the ways in
30 which they exaggerate or challenge their human origins. For example, Frankenstein's monster is made particularly unsettling by the extremity of his features. They are dist inctly human, but nothing about him is quite right. He is perfectly formed but He is unnaturally tall (around 7 feet), preternaturally quick, and better able to survive in e xtreme climates like the Arctic. His first encounter with any natural human evokes disgust and horror at his appearance. Similarly, Jekyll's horrific appeal is in the distortion of his form and his excessively violent, potentially evil behavior. Both chara cters are definitively human, but importantly altered. This alteration is essentially what allows them to become an impetus for the analysis or discussion of social issues. If natural and animalistic monsters like Carmilla and Dracula address more primitiv e issues, these man made monsters point to more philosophic issues tied to the social world in which they are rooted. Frankenstein the ability or right to create and e xtinguish life. Jekyll and Hyde potential for both good and evil, while also examining the subject of substance use/abuse as a possible source of evil in humanity. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus : e voice of Captain Robert Walton. He provides a frame narrative to the story that separates the reader from the action and horror of the novel and creates a distance that makes the narration somewhat untrustworthy. Victor Frankenstein, the primary voice of the work, appears in the story as a direct result of
31 Walton, who rescues Frankenstein from a cold and lonely death in the North Pole. He has been without sustenance for days, but as he recovers he begins to disclose the details of his life to the C aptain. At this time the narrative shifts focus to his tale, primarily in his narrating; instead his story is passed down and reiterated by Captain Robert Walton. The aga narrative that is unreliable. Regardless of this distance between reader and narration, the bulk of the story is presented as the authentic voice of Victor Frankenstein. He discusses his childhood, 62). Given the themes of death and creation that dominate this text, this is an important moment in the narrative. It is this event, in add science that gives birth to his monster. His loss drives him to reject death as necessary and begins an obsession with the key to immortality, one step of which he believes to be the recreation of life. This leads t o his experimentation with animating inanimate matter, and the eventual creation of the creature. The details of his experimentation and the creation of the monster itself are, ected bones from charnel houses and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame" (Shelley 82). This, at the very least, suggests the use of human corpses resulting obsession with restoring human life. Another statement from Frankenstein implies the use of corpses both human and animal, to furnish the monster with a complete
32 body, "The dissecting room and the slaughter house furnished many of my materials" (Shelley 82). But despite his possible use of animals in constructing his creature, it is clear the Victor never intends for the creature to seem bestial. He strives for a human appearance, and even intends the monster to be aesthetically pleasing, handsome, and perfected. Although the experiment is successful, His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eye s, that seemed almost the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips. (85) still very human appe arance is at the root of his horrific appeal. Unlike the monsters of the last chapter there is no association with the animal. Instead, the work focuses on his human aspects, but more specifically on how his creation and certain aspects of it separate him from society and differentiate him not only from other characters within the which, in conjunction with his creation establishes him as something other than human. The distance this creates allows readers safely to participate in an exploration of the underlying themes of the novel. Although this world reflects ours, these types of details make it clear that this world is not that of the reader; while the tale may invok e a feeling
33 of horror, it also creates philosophical distance. Because of this, readers are able to question the nature of creation and of human existence by forcing them to ask After th both the scientist and his creation. Victor, exhausted and horrified by what he has done, flees, unable to come to terms with what he has created. He leaves the creature confused, ang ry and without guidance in its early days of animation. The monster has been created within human society and has a desire to be social, but has no clearly identified place within the social world. When the monster meets with his creator later in the novel this becomes evident. The monster has learned to speak and proves to be articulate, intelligent and self aware; in short, he is in some ways civilized. He appears educated, and shows an appreciation for civilization or its markers. His development stems from his observation of the DeLacy family, who reside in a cottage in the woods. He learns to speak human language, to read, and to understand moral issues from watching this family and listening to them teaching the Turkish Safie to speak and to read Fre nch (the presumed language of most of these characters). From his observation the monster first becomes aware of his deformed appearance, but he continues to desire social contact. He is received kindly by the father who is blind and so oblivious to the mo that in his behaviors and attitudes are not only socially acceptable, but pleasant. However, the creature is met with rejection and violence from the rest of his family who are shocked by his appearance and assumes t hat he presents a deadly threat. This upsets the
34 he is a liminal creature, both human and inhuman, unable to exist in a civilized world, but left yearning to be a pa rt of it. This type of situation, in which the creature has some minor success at socialization and human companionship but ultimately fails because of his more monstrous qualities, is repeated several more times. The creature attempts to interact with hu mankind because of his very human intellect and feeling, but is rejected because of his distorted appearance. He is shot at while attempting to rescue a girl. He then tries to find her), whom he hopes is too young to react negatively to the monster. But he is still rejected and ends by strangling the boy to death and planting evidence on a sleeping woman nearby hoping to punish his creator. Upon finding his creator, the creature dema nds that he make him a mate, a female companion. Victor is at first hesitant, but the monster argues that he has a basic right to happiness particularly since he is unable to fi nd a place of his own in society. It is, again, clear from these event and these demands that the dominant interest of this work appears to be in exploring the nature of both creation and existence. This narrative forces the reader to question the existenc e of God, and even more generally the nature of creation. The creation of the monster in and of itself, transforms Victor into a god like figure. As their as having po wer over creation and the ability to play god at least to his kind. However, readers must still question whether Victor really fills the role of a creator in this world, or ty to
35 create life denies the existence of an all powerful God and so defies human religious beliefs. However, the monster can also be seen as a creative failure. Although, he was able to physically give life, Victor was not able to give the monster a true and complete readers with them in a safe, fictive environment, subtly forcing readers to explore these ideas themselves under the guise of entertaining reading. Althoug h this work predates brought to light again with his theory of evolution. However, the early appearance of these anxieties about creation, identify a general social concern with the origin of our species and the creati on of life. 20 Biographical information about the author also supports the claim that Frankenstein is intended to encourage philosophical musing and debate. Mary Shelley herself was interested in these questions, and her personal experiences surely informed her work. Her own mother died shortly after her birth, within less than three weeks. This may well have connected concepts of creation and death for Shelly. Additionally, in 1815, just three years before the publication of Frankenstein Shelley gave birth prematurely to a little girl, who died two weeks after childbirth. This was a loss that Shelly keenly felt, leading to a waking dream which addresses these aspects of her own personal life, while also mirroring the events of Frankenstein. 21 Her journal read s: I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital 20 Van Wyhe 21 Pabst Kastner
36 odious handiwork, horror silence of the grave would quench forever the transient existence of the hideous corpse which he had looked upon as the cradle of life. He sleeps; but is awakened; he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains, and looking at him with yellow, watery, but speculative eyes. I opened mine in terror. (Shelley 11) to see connections to Frankenstein. Mary Shelley hoped, as a mother, to play the role of creator and bring forth life. Victor Frankenstein has these same aspirations, and like her character, Shelley is deeply wounded by her inability to fulfill her own wishes an d is disappointed in the results of her efforts. creator and mother. She may also harbor a desire to restore life to her child, but a fear that this (were it possible) would create not a child, but a monster. Her vision represents these anxieties. This dream creation, who physically resembles the creature that later appears in Frankenst ein, defies the laws of nature and rejects death. In this way he is like Frankenstein's creature, a monstrous and liminal figure that is neither alive nor dead, neither human nor inhuman. personal anxieties reflect the more general concern o f the work. The monster is used a s a symbol of creation, but also as a way to explore it. This text deals with creation as a philosophic idea, and seeks to question what we identify as life and death, creator and creation. While Jekyll and Hyde also featur es the creation of a
37 monstrous figure by a human and scientif ically knowledgeable figure, it s concerns are very different. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde : The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narr ates the late life of Dr Jekyll and the creation of his alter ego, Mr Hyde. Dr Jekyll is a well known doctor, and well thought of gentleman. Likewise, his associates are all appropriately well mannered. The doctor appears to be always appropriately dressed and meets social expectations of physical appearance. His actions are generally within the confines of socially approved behavior, and he is polite as well as morally character is his experimenta tion on himself, which results in the creation of Hyde, who is in many ways his opposite. Mr Hyde from his first appearance is unpleasant in both appearance and attitude, and he grows increasingly worse as he gains power and control over Dr Jekyll through out the course of the novel. He is physically unattractive, and seemingly deformed; other particular deformity as its cause. This outer appearance is an indication of his warped attitudes and sentiments; he strives to defy or reject all social ideals. He is vulgar, rude and, at times, incredibly violent. This disregard for the civilized or socially acceptable is reflected even in his choice of companionship. He is comfortab le associating with a much inappropriate behaviors are somewhat more acceptable or less noticeable. Because of
38 these character details and his behavior, the novella sugge sts, that he is the supported by the eventual revelation that these two entities, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, share one physical, tangible body. Despite their differences, they are a part of one entity. At first, Dr Jekyll seems dominant. He maintains control over the appearances of Mr Hyde through a substance he has created, and Hyde refers to Jekyll as a somewhat authoritative figure. Because of this, Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll manage to lead somewhat separate or parallel lives. They both exist within society as two completely different and separate men, using different doors, and inhabiting separate spaces. However, as the narrative continues Dr Jekyll struggles to maintain a p resence in his own body, and Mr Hyde spirals out of control, both taking over the body at will and because he is unable or unwilling to control his actions, endangering both men. artificially created and unnatural entity that problematically inhabits the modern, social figure in the social world, but Hyde in his own way also interacts and ex ists within Mr. Utterson, two gentlemen out in town. Mr. Enfield describes an incident in which he sees a stranger (Mr Hyde) trample a young child who is simply in his way without the least concern. On this occurrence the novel reads: helpless. No gentle
39 would have clearly liked to stick it out; but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and at last he struck. The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he carried us but to that place with the door? -whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the matter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's, drawn payable to bearer and signed with a name that I can't mention, though it's one of the points of my story, but it was a name at least very well known and often printed. (Stevenson 32) In this passage, Mr Enfield places himself moving into the city from a pl ace he considers outskirts, into the more civilized or social center of it. This places Hyde, at the time of his appearance, distinctly within the confines of civilized Engla nd. To further this point, he is forced to interact with several witnesses from a wide range of social classes. However, his violence toward the child and his self interest in avoiding any repercussions, are signs of his socially unacceptable persona. Agai n, readers are given a monstrous figure that is liminal. Hyde is a social being who rejects and is in turn rejected by the society of which he is a part. He finally is forced to behave in a socially accepted manner by paying a fine, and act as the narrati ve and Mr E nfield insinuate is gentlemanly, or expected of his apparent social class. This episode of the door is the first of several allusions to the complicated relationship that exists between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In this passage we see that Dr Jekyl l is in some ways responsible for Mr Hyde because the door in fact leads
40 providing the funds for his ill behaved counterpart because he feels responsible. It is not until the end of the work that the true nature of their relationship or the novel or its reader. Dr Jekyll appears at the home of Dr. Hastie Lanyon and reveals to him his secret. Lanyo He (Jekyll) put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked there came I thought, a change he seemed to swell his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall., my arm raised to shield me from that prodigy, my mind submerge d in terror (Stevenson 76 77) him as unnatural and a product of human science much like Frankenstein's creature. Additionally, this transformation is an excellent e and a source of horror. The transformation is physically painful, as is indicated by Dr of his own body as it mutates is described n egatively in the process of taking on a new appearance. He is shrunk, swollen and pushed past the limits of his own physical form. The narrative makes it clear that this process is disturbing to a passive voyeur. Lanyon is so disturbed by this transformat ion that he reacts physically, jumping back and shielding
41 unnatural process that creates his appearance mirrors that which the reader is invited to feel. the only aspect of his character that makes him grotesque. He is physically violent and wrathful. His anger and the violent way in which he expresses himself are so grossly exaggerated and so extreme that they make him appear more monstrous. For example, a maid observes Hyde walking with an elderly man who appears to be good natured and gentlemanly. Suddenly, and without warning, Hyde becomes violent. The maid recounts that: He (Hyde) broke out in a great flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth And the next moment, w ith ape like fury he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted. (Stevenson 46) In thi s passage Hyde brutally murders a man seemingly unprovoked and without the least hesitation or remorse. His actions seem particularly cruel because of the identity and attitude of his victim. Like the child Hyde injured in his first appearance within the n ovel, the man did nothing to deserve the violence that has been perpetrated against him. Dr. Carew (the murdered man) made no effort to defend himself, and as an elderly man, was particularly defenseless and vulnerable to the attack.
42 This outrageous physi cal assault shines a very negative light on Hyde. He appears to be human, a social being, and is initially identified as a man (and eventually a mad man). He walks with a gentleman and is treated as an equal. Because of this, he is not initially a shown to be horrific, even the maid seems comfortable at first; his actions change everything. His actions are perversely violent and unprovoked and separate him from society, since this kind of behavior is generally acknowledged as immoral and ndency towards malevolence is purposefully exaggerated and heavily focused upon, making him unlikeable and repulsive; it is an aspect of his characterization as a horrific figure. Again, Stevenson includes a character (the maid) who expresses the emotions the readers are invited to experience; she is so shocked and disgusted by this display that she faints. In this way it is made thoroughly clear that Hyde is not a character to be identified or sympathized with, but instead feared. His grotesque appearance and evil persona, not only act as the source of this fear, but they also allow readers to detach themselves from him and safely engage in the philosophic questions raised by Jekyll appears most interested in Hyde not only as an aspect of himself, but more generally as an indicator of the natural duality of human nature 22 Dr Jekyll is deeply concerned with this iss ue, and addresses it directly in the full statement he entrusted to Lanyon. In it he says: The evil side of my nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was less robust and less developed than the good which I had just deposed. Again, 22 n the id, ego, and superego would also address the human psyche as a whole comprised of smaller parts. A reading of Jekyll and Hyde that considers Hyde representative of the id is fairly common, and valuable. This reading still reflects the more simplistic the Id". London: The Hogarth Press Ltd, 1949.)
43 in the course of my life, which had been, after all, nine tenths a life of effort, virtue and control, it had been much less exer cised and much less exhausted. And hence, as I think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the ot beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil. (Stevenson 81) This passage postul ates that Hyde is a upright, generally good behavior, he imagines his evil side is underdeveloped and small in stature. Thi countenance and his appearance. He is physically deformed and externally repellent, indicating an equally undesirable interior. Jekyll goes on to argue that all human beings are composed s imilarly. He believes that every individual has both good and evil impulses, so no one person is purely good or solely evil, with the exception of Hyde who is formed only from the aspects of Jekyll that he considers evil. This statement within the fictiona l world make s implications about the world of the reader, and argues that the dual nature of mankind is not m erely a fiction of the novel, but a factual aspect of our world. We are invited to consider that if we too are generally good persons; ide may be underdeveloped, but that if we give it free rein, it like Hyde might become demanding and powerful.
44 Another question is brought up by the reference to the consumption of illicit or mind altering drugs, what we now recognize as substance abuse. The comparison particularly considering the cultural perceptions of drug and alcohol use at the time of its publication. At this time, the latter half of the nineteenth century, addiction to opium or alcohol was just starting to be consistently treated as a real concern and medical issue. There was a concern t hat patients prescribed alcohol were more likely to engage in habitual drinking which could be both physically and socially damaging. Morphine was also drawing attention as a potentially addictive substance. As the popularity of hypodermic morphine grew, doctors saw patients develop a tolerance to the medicinal drug and the emergence of new symptoms, which could only be allaye d by larger doses (as Jekyll finds with his potion). 23 Neither alcohol nor morphine is explicitly mentioned unidentified mixture o f substances. This result implies that particular substances or combinations have the power to produce some kind of meaningful change in an individual. Furthermore, it raises questions about how significantly the use of a substance d social interactions: do mind core self, or do they rather allow something usually kept hidden to emerge? Dr Jekyll is quite literally changed by his substance use. He exhibits behaviors that one might expect from an addi ct. He experiences blackouts and periods of lost time. His life of ease deteriorates into one of worry and fear, and his social life begins to suffer 23 Zieg
45 as a result of his substance use. As the situation escalates, he begins to lose control of himself, his bo dy and, more generally, of the situation. Stevenson depicts Jekyll as gradually developing a tolerance to the mixture, requiring stronger and more frequent doses, simply to make the change happen, or worse, in order to change back. Although he says that he wants to stop using, he has negative experiences or sensations when trying to abstain, which resemble the physical problems of withdrawal and dependency, and so is unable to stop. Even when he realizes that continuing to take this mysterious mixture, part icularly in steadily increasing doses, may kill him, he is unable to quit. All of these behaviors can be identified as those of an addict, 24 him to become t he personification of addiction and the potential consequences of dr ug abuse. In this reading Hyde is not a separate individual, but instead gives a presence and a name to a repressed aspect of Jekyll. The narrative in many ways strongly supports the reading in which substance abuse provides an explanation for the radical changes between Jekyll and Hyde. Although specific drug abuse is not mentioned, Jekyll is adamant that Hyde is an inherent scientific experimentation. This supports the idea tha side of Jekyll and allows Hyde to take a concrete form. In both Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde some characteristic of the scientist protagonist is brought to the fore in their monstrous creations. Victor Frankenstei excessive ambition and desire to have the power to control death and create life leads to a monster who desires social acceptance but when he is rejected, turns murderous. Dr. s own desire to indulge his bad i mpulses 24 Altschuler, E ric L., and Daniel Wright
46 releases an aspect of himself that also does evil in the human social world and eventually leads to the death of both persons inhabiting the body of Jekyll. These social monsters raise particular issues for readers about how the social world works, how human knowledge can instead of improving the social world, cause harm and danger.
47 Chapter Three : The Contemporary Issues of Horror Film Film marks the modernization of the horror genre. In this day and age, it is more likely for an individual to atte nd a film or watch television, simply because of the overwhelming popularity and relative ease of this mode of entertainment. More importantly, film has become culturally significant because of this; as relevant part of our lives, the analysis and academic discussion of film is valuable. Like the novel, a film can reflect the prevailing attitudes of the time and provide insight into the social/cultural environment from which it originates. Because of this, looking at the later cinematic adaptations of thes e iconic horror stories reveal how the monster myth and its original subtext has been preserved, but also how they may have changed, and what the implications of these changes may be. First, it is important to acknowledge that the movement to film brought about important and significant changes to the genre as an imaginative, fictive experience; film revolutionized the way a story could be told. With the invention and popularization of film as an artistic medium, a story could be regulated and mass produce d. The use of image and sound became an infinitely more important and dynamic aspect of the storytelling process, while also pinning down details previously left open to imaginative interpretation. Film, by creating an entirely new environment members, limits variation. Movie viewers are typically a part of a larger group that shares a generally similar and consistent experience. For example, when attending a movie in a theater, one is participating in a group, shared experience. E ach person in a theater (or watching the movie at home) experiences the same story with the exact same sounds and visuals, ever y time. This is a very different experience than solitary reading.
48 It is impossible to say with any authority or objectivity if these changes are an improvement or a detriment to storytelling. Perhaps it is neither. However, it can be agreed that the use of film marks the beginning of a new era of horror narrative. Earlier films, as well as more accurate cinematic reproductions of the text, seem to maintain not only the superficial elements of horror we saw in the literature, but also the underlying social issues I've identified. As time passes, these films experience some generalized and important changes Modern films derived from the nineteenth century stories maintain just enough of the established myth to identify the film as a vampire or mad scientist movie, but has this horror become somehow empty? My research indicates that over time, because of social and cultural change the underlying issues hidden in these earlier narratives sometimes become outdated. This necessitates some very significant changes to the adapted stories. That which is monstrous must change to reflect modern social concerns, or risk being limited to its sup erficial elements.
49 Vampires in Film: The vampire myth was first transferred to film in the early 1900s. From this point been made featuring a variant of the vampire known as Dracula, than any other fictional character with the exception of Sherlock Holmes. 25 Nosferatu (1922) is one of the earliest of such films with a central monster clearly modeled after the iconic count. This German, silent movie is a fairly accurate remake of Dracula but features Count Orlok, who is also and neglected castle. This setting and his pseudonym are just two aspects of the film that connec t the monster to the natural and animalistic vampire as in Stoker's Dracula For example, Orlok has an inhuman, almost bat like appearance, and an unnatural way of moving. In addition, he is repeatedly associated to an uncontrollable swarm of rats through juxtaposition of images. Nosferatu is just one example of many, many adaptations of the popular novel. Like Nosferatu some of these films retain the bestial and undesirable nature of the count. However, much of the story's sexual content is glossed over o r left out. The erotic undertone is still there, but the story had to be altered to compensate for the more believable reality the use of film, dynamic image, created. A slightly later film, Dracula from 1931, perhaps better embodies both the animal and se xual qualities of Stoker's Dracula. main character, this adaptation is the first to feature his transformation into a bat a vel. This transformation would become integrated into the popular vampire myth. Furthermore, it is an aspect of the film that 25 Guiley
50 exemplifies a continued link to the animal grotesqueness. However, Bela Lugosi is a very different count than Max Schreck of Nosfe ratu horrific appearance of Orlov, who seems just barely human. Lugosi's Dracula, although he is still animalistic, has the potential to be sexually desirable. The film poster for the 1931 Dracula (above left) illustr ates this. It mimics a still from the film, featuring a very resistance or fear. Instead, her posture practically welcomes him. Her head is tilted back, exposing her thro at; her eyes are closed creating an expression that could be understood as pleasure. The vampire and its dreaded bite seem to have maintained its confusing sexual nature, and still acts as a displacement of a genital sex. This vision of the vampire as over tly sexual or even potentially desirable can be found in many other works and visual images of Dracula or the vampire more generally. In 1970, the first English adaptation of Carmilla appears, entitled The Vampire Lovers Immediately the title implies an e xplicitly sexual relationship. The film itself features attractive, curvaceous, and often scantily clad women. Carmilla is presented as blatantly desirable and naturally seductive. In fact, the hero of this story finds Carmilla so beautiful that he is init ially unable to stop her, and she is allowed to attack several women and a few men before the end of the narrative. This illustrates the beginning of a trend, the neglect of the animal and primitive in the vampire in favor of a thrillingly sexual image. Ho wever, Vampire Lovers does still uphold the idea of the vampire as dangerous and ultimately evil; although she is desirable, she is still life threatening. The film blends fear and sexuality, still using that which is threatening to mask that which is prim itively and somewhat unacceptably desirable. The idea of Carmilla as a sexually awakened and
51 powerful woman is still an issue in this work, still early in terms of the women's liberation movement; but perhaps still more controversial is her expression of n ot only lesbian desires, but also of potentially bisexual behavior. It can be said that the vampire as a fictional creature has experienced a resurgence in recent years, but many of these modern characters have retained very little of Stoker's original Co unt. Figures in popular fiction and media such as Twilight True Blood and others are desirable, idealized, and are sometimes actually seen as more attractive because they are vampiric. The modern vampire has the potential, if not a distinct ability to co ntrol his or her more terrifying urges, and has been given alternatives to feeding on humans; this marks a disappearance of the threateningly animal. For example, in the pop, teen sensation Twilight an individual actually becomes more physically attractiv e and subsequently sexually desirable if transformed into a vampire, and the main human character actively seeks a romantic and sexual relationship with one and even desires to be transformed into a vampire herself. The vampires in this pop fiction world c all their blooded animals. They ideal. This is just one of several, very similar examples, featuring vam pires that are more desirable than they are terrifying. These representations, varying from vampire as monster to vampire as ideal, reflect a changing a social climate and cultural perception of sex and powerful male and even female bodies. As we as a soci ety became more comfortable with human sexuality, we became more comfortable with its expression. At the time of Dracula or Carmilla publication the kind of sexuality embedded in the text, one that involved active or
52 sexually awakened women and homoeroti cism, was socially unacceptable. Casting sexual beings as monsters allowed authors to explore these taboo issues without openly challenging accepted social values. As times changed, there was less of a need for these creatures to be represented as frighten ing. In this modern age, the vampire has almost entirely lost the need for horror to mask their sexual suggestiveness. What remains is an empty use of the vampire myth that found a key origin in the later nineteenth century. Mad Scientists and thei r Monsters: Horror icons like Frankenstein Mr Hyde have enjoyed slightly less cinematic fame than their vampiric counterparts, but nevertheless many versions of these two iconic works have been produced. In fact, adaptations of Frankenstein wer e 1931 production Frankenstein featuring and his work in this movie became the iconic image of the creature, more familiar than
53 popular, but it was initially met with some controversy. Although the film was pre code 26 the censorship boards in several states required major changes to the film before it could be released. One state suggested such a multitude of cuts and alterations that the movie's run time would have been almost halved. This was in part because of the graphic nature of the film 27 but more interestingly several states also took issue with blasphemous content in the film. For example, when Frankenstein is first successful, and his creation comes to life, he yells It's alive! It's alive! In the name of God! N ow I know what it feels like to be a line that was quit e controversial. 28 The inclusion of this line within the unedited movie is just one indicator of the maintenance of the original human powers. It encourages viewers to won der if, within this world, Victor is god; and questions the standard by which we determine what constitutes life. This line addresses, and hints at a presence of the underlying philosophical questions of Shelley's Frankenstein. Later films would address th is issue through the inclusion of the bride of Frankenstein, a female monstrous figure. The creation of both a man and a woman alludes to the story of Adam and Eve, again marking Victor as a god like figure. A cinematic version of Jekyll and Hyde was made the same year as Frankenstein featuring Boris Karloff. It too preceded a national standard of censorship and was met special effects and makeup to achieve what were at the time, quite breathtaking results. 26 Before censorship guidelines were nationally established/enforced 27 bodies and body part s s accidental violence and purposeful acts of aggression). This was quite sho cking to audiences and critics 28 Vieira (42 50)
54 They are more visually dynamic, but otherwise more or less the same. In the 1970s the idea to gender bend the story of Jekyll and Hyde began to emerge. Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971 ) may be the first film to carry out this idea. After this initial effort, the idea became somewhat more popular and it resurfaced several more times in following years. In almost all of the remakes of this classic story themes of duality remain, but as this shows the story has sometimes been interpreted in unexpected or new ways. For woman could be indicative of the idea that humanity may natu rally contain both masculine and feminine identities, regardless of biological sex and binary gender constructs. Furthermore, this addresses a social concern with the maintenance or destruction of the gender binary. What did it mean if a man could be a wom woman takes on the role of the morally depraved character. This expresses a social anxiety about women gaining agency and taking on a more powerful, traditionally male role. However, in comparison t o early films and the original novel, this trend does at least insinuate an awareness and potentially even a growing openness to more progressive ideas about gender roles. Addiction, from nineteenth century opium dens up through twentieth century represent ation of use of opiates, heroin cocaine, and even marijuana, has not become a positive, or more socially acceptable phenomena with the passage of time, in fact just the opposite (alcohol represents a distinctive case). However, since the nineteenth centur y it has gained much more attention. When Jekyll and Hyde was published medical and psychological healthcare was less advanced. During the 1800s addiction was only starting to be recognized as a real phenomenon or illness, rather than a mere lack of will
55 power, much less as a potentially treatable issue. 29 In contemporary society, addiction has been fully acknowledged as a very real issue that many struggle with and that can be addressed through treatment, therapy, and support groups. Because of this recog nition, there is a wide range of available help for those afflicted with some form of addiction to controlled or mind altering substances. A greater understanding and willingness to address this issue, is reflected in adaptations of Jekyll and Hyde's story that overtly point to the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Jekyll + Hyde (2006) is one film that does so. This is reflected in promotional images for the film. The poster (right) features a pill that overtakes the image. A figure struggles against the capsule (most likely Jekyll, since it is on the left side, labeled with his name), trying to break free. This symbolizes a use and addiction to drugs, specifically pharmaceuticals that Jekyll struggles against. Here we see a significant revision of an older anxie ty about the potential power of science to do good turned into harm, transformed into a concern with a new illness, addiction, and the story revamped to address a more contemporary anxiety. Zombies and the Fear of the Apocalypse: 29 Zi
56 The introduction of zombie important movement in horror fiction. Zombies in a sense did exist in earlier literature vampires have elements of the undead, as do other figures of the dead still present on earth. However, the modern, popular zombie is very different from these creatures. Earlier works featured zombies that were created with voodoo or from a voodoo tradition. The Magic Island (1929) by William Seabrook is just one of these works in which the century expressed mor e racial and religious anxiety than later interpretations of the monsters. White Zombie from 1932 is widely considered the first feature length zombie film, but it is also a cinematic example of the early voodoo zombie. The title highlights the divergence from an association between the walking dead and African or Afro zombie suggests a kind of infection that may be moving beyond the geographic and racial boundaries of th e original monster much as Dracula was able to escape his eastern European location and relocate to London thanks to ignorant westerners. Early zombies were imagined as human bodies trapped by evil magicians into a state of mobility and action without thei r will or acquiescence; in their slow movements, poor coordination, However, my interest is more in the flesh eat ing, infectious, and uncontrollable monsters of films from the 1960s and later. The appearance of these monsters marks something new in horror, and exhibits the ability of this genre to create new monsters and through them to address unresolved social issu Night of the
57 Living Dead (1968) has become one of the most iconic Zombie films, and is generally thought of as the first to popularize this flesh eating zombie that has become so pervasive in popular culture. The racial tensions of e arlier works remain present. The sole black character, Ben, is for much of the film a heroic figure. He provides for Barbra, and other survivors, acting as a protector. He is the sole character to survive the night, fending off the horde of white zombies. However, he emerges into the daylight only to be killed by a mob of living whites. His representation is comparatively positive, but it is significant that, despite his obvious competence, he is not allowed to survive the film. This zombie also expresses a n underlying anxiety about death and the afterlife. They are a literal representation of grief, while also questioning what establishes relevant given the social context o f the Vietnam War and its against a dehumanized and largely unidentified group. This is how the zombies, against which the other living cha racters battle, are visually depicted in the film. (above) A zombie is a life threatening and liminal figure, both dead and alive but simultaneously neither, following the trend established by these iconic figures of horror. The feeling of horror it evokes distracts from its more serious, underlying concerns. The very existence of the modern zombie marks the ability of the horror genre to evolve; it is not limited to the vampires and monsters of the past. As we as a society change, it changes with us, show ing that the genre is social ly valuable, purposeful and relevant. Horror film, following the trajectory of horror fiction, serves a social purpose in making visible social anxieties, masking serious questions with fearful thrills, and
58 continuing to explore our anxieties about the dividing line between death and life, between proper and improper sexual desires, and between self and other.
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