Zombies

The zombie genre, which we have been exploring in class, creates a need for social institutions because the zombie apocalypse forces humans to congregate together for survival. Individually humans are weak and fragile creatures who do not posses much power on their own.  Humanities strength comes from its numbers and once people come together to fight a common cause like the zombie apocalypse the group, as a whole needs direction. This is where the necessity of social structures comes from, necessity of survival.  It is something that can be seen in most zombie narratives, people form a group to fight the zombies.  It happened in the television show In the Flesh with groups like the HFV forming to try to create some sort of stability in the world they live in.  This urge to create government is also reflects peoples desire to return back to some sense of normalcy that existed before the outbreak.  The life that humans experienced before the zombie outbreak can never be returned to though that’s why the social structure In the Flesh are flawed and it is also why the re-integration of people with partially deceased syndrome cause such a panic amongst the living people. 

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Gothic

1) Intertextuality: The relationship between texts, especially literary ones.

-American Psycho: Patrick’s constant reference to music, literature, magazines, and fashion.

2) Picturesque: Visually attractive, especially in a quaint of pretty style. The idea that beauty is replicated in landscape

-Castle of Otranto: Controlled access to nature

3) Madness:  The state of being mentally ill; a state of frenzied or chaotic activity.

-Jack in The Shining

-Victor’s spiral down into madness with his obsession with creating the creature

-Renfield in Dracula

4) Isolation: Cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others

-The whole Torrance family in The Shining

-Victor and the Creature in Frankenstein

-Patrick isolates himself from reality through the use of media

5) Suspension of disbelief:  The temporary acceptance as

-Castle of Otranto: The big head and the ghost pictures coming to life.

6) Heroine: Female hero

-Wendy in The Shining

-Mina is until the end of Dracula.

7) Daemon: A divinity or supernatural being of nature between gods and humans

– The creature from Frankenstein

8) Doppelganger: An apparition or double of living person

-The Shining: Tony is Danny’s doppelganger

– Frankenstein:  The creature is Victor’s doppelganger

– American Psycho: Everyone is everyone’s doppelganger. No one is real. Everyone is interchangeable with each other.

9) Naturalism: The use of detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character.

– Frankenstein: How the creature taught himself by living out in nature. His personality was shaping by how society treated him.

10) Panopticon: A type of institutional building, like a prison, designed in a way where you believe you are being watched at all times.

-The Shining: In the Overlook, there is a sense that someone, or something, is watching them at all times. For example: how they all fear room 217.

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Short Story

The short story genre alters the gothic conventions by altering the time line of the story.  When reading a gothic short story the timeline of the story is sped up, which does not allow for some of the necessary history or background on characters, which would usually be present in a regular novel.  This background information is crucial to help build the suspense and mystery of the story and it also give the reader a sense direction within the story.  In H.P. Lovercraft’s short story “The Evil Clergyman” the lack of background history makes the story very dry and somewhat boring.  In the story Lovecraft drops the reader into the story media res, and never gives any insight into the main character or why he is going to this persons house or who it was that died and why they are significant.  The story leaves many questions unanswered for the reader. Instead the story chooses to focus on trying to create horrifying scenario by jumping straight to the action of the main character in the attic.  The action of the story is weakened and the horror that Lovecraft was attempting to create does not happen for me because there is not enough of a back story or history to give any connection to the main character or to the events which are transpiring, the story also fails to explain where and how the main character receives his special flashlight.  Instead the story tries to wrap everything up with a sentences at the end.  It leaves so many unanswered questions that it makes the story fall short of being scary or suspenseful at all.  The short story is unfulfilled because of the shorter timeline it does not give enough background information for the story to work well within the traditional gothic conventions.

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Group Therapy With Danny Torrance and Frankenstein’s Creature

Our group video of Danny and Frankenstein’s creature in a therapy session.

My group members were :

DariAnna Mills: http://mills113scary.wordpress.com
Elizabeth Hudson: http://hudson113scary.wordpress.com
Mathew Mendoza: https://mendoza113scary.wordpress.com
Nicholas Weber: http://weber113scary.wordpress.com

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Dreams

Creativity and its source can come from any numerous things, events, people, and dreams.  When writing inspiration for any piece of writing can come from any where, but  dreams can often be some of the strongest inspirations.  In her introduction to Frankenstein  Mary Shelley she talks about day dreaming constantly as a child as a way to pass the time.  Day dreaming keeps the imagination active and can keep the creative juices flowing.  So it is no surprise that Shelley lists her inspiration for Frankenstein as starting out in a dream as she was drifting off to sleep one night.  This semiconscious state of mind can be extremely inspirational, as our conscious brain begins to power down the shift between the unconscious and the dream like state become powerful.  What is also empowering about this half sleep state of mind is that, at least from my own personal experience, the mind is susceptible to incorporate things that where happening before sleep or during that day.  It is like when you have fallen asleep with the T.V. on and suddenly what ever is playing in the T.V. creeps its way into your dreams and unconscious thoughts. In state of mind dreams and creativity can flourish by allowing the mind to explore freely to some degree, and what we do with those thoughts after we wake is up to us.

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Media

In American Psycho the form of media that keeps popping up obscurely and at the most random moments is  The Patty Winters Show.  The Patty Winters Show,  the show allows an insight into the world around Patrick.  Some of the topics that are that Patrick says are discussed in the show are, UFO’s that kill, the possibility of nuclear war, and toddler murders.   Each one of these topics offers its own view into Patrick’s world.  When the topic of nuclear war is brought on the show Patrick says, “…according to the panel of experts the odds are pretty good it will happen sometime within the next month.”(119). This brief little excerpt from the show gives a glimpse as to what is on the minds of people during this time in the world where Patrick is living.  It also gives the sense that the world that Patrick is living in is a stressful one that is right on the verge of a violent destruction.  The topic of toddler murders offered up a very disturbing view into Patrick’s psyche.  Patrick says, “In the studio audience were parents of children who’d been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered, while on stage a panel of psychiatrists and pediatricians were trying to help them cope – somewhat futilely I might add, and much to my delight–with their confusion and anger”(138).  From this topic which is given through the Patty Winters Show  the depth of how psychotic Patrick really is, I he gets pleasure from seeing people in pain even if isn’t the person who is inflicting it.  The Patty Winters show divulges subtle little pieces of information that work collectively to help shape how Patrick and his world are to be viewed.

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Nightmare

The sky is gray and there are no clouds for as far as I can see.  Even though the day is gray the warmth and humidity of the sun can still be felt making sweat drip down my head.  I look down at the ground with a sense of urgency, but the ground is dry and hard, it looks like it hasn’t rained in years.  In the distance I see a plow and a small shack as, as I move towards the shack I see the dust cloud in the distance.  I know now that they are coming for me it’s my turn to die.  This is the end not just for me but for the whole world nothing will grow and humanity is starving.  I am living in the apocalypse.  As I come up upon the shack inside I see two cots on one of them there is a body, she looks frail and worn out skinny from not eating and her skin is dry as if all the water has been sucked out of her body. As I walk towards her, she utters the words don’t let them take me and in gasp as I reach down, her whole body turns to dust the as my hand touches her. I walk back out and I can see that they will be here any minute for me.  The dilapidated army truck pulls up there are men with gas mask and special suits on they, they force me on the truck with their guns.  This is it; this is what the end is like humans rounding up other humans for food. As the truck pulls away I awake from my sleep.

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