The Monster Within Essay

1141 WordsMay 28, 20155 Pages
Monster is defined by the Oxford Australian Students Dictionary as ‘a large ugly or frightening creature’ but is this the extent of all monstrosity or can monsters be more than just what is seen to be scary or threatening. The concept of ‘The Monster Within’ explores the ways in which texts use the idea of a monster to reflect the cultures and values of their times, using different perspectives on a topic to convey a similar theme or idea. F.W. Murnaus’ film “Nosferatu” released in 1922 uses a stereotypical monster to convey ideas relating to the monster within a creature and its drive and determination to kill for survival. In contrast to this, Tim Burton uses the idea of a conventional monster in his film “Edward Scissorhands” (1990) to uncover the abstruse reality of the monster not being an individual, but being society itself. A similar idea to Burtons straying from the traditional monster idea is Robert Louis Stevensons novella “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” published in 1886 which explores the differences in levels of the social hierarchy and the unseen imperfections in a theoretically ideal society. “Nosferatu” directed by F.W. Murnau in 1922 is set in post World War I Europe, a time of closed society surrounded by the superstitious beliefs of dangerous, monstrous creatures that stemmed from traditional myths and legends. An appropriation of Bram Stokers “Dracula”, Nosferatu explores the concept of the traditional monster with a hideous physical appearance and a motivation to kill driven by the need for survival, a vampire. Heavily influenced by the German Expressionist movement, much of the film is shot in low-key lighting to create a mysterious and eerie tone throughout. Murnau uses special effects such as stop-motion to give the impression of a supernatural speed of time passing when Hutter is on the carriage ride, this suggests a demonic

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