Frankenstein is the epitome of the creature of nightmare. Frankenstein was not a real human, but instead was created by a scientist and brought to life when struck by lightning. He is portrayed as mentally slow and also violent. He is also disfigured, an example of the perversion of the human body. This is one of the main characteristics of the creature of nightmare. He causes so much fear that the entire village forms a mob and comes after Frankenstein with pitchforks and torches. They see him as a monster and he is clearly a creature of nightmare.
McCrum, Robert. "The 100 Best Novels: No 8 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 10 Nov. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
TV commercials, inherently designed to deliver content in easily recognizable packages, often show creatures of nightmare in obvious ways, usually even more so than images. The zombie character is especially popular in this day and age, with apocalyptic shows, films, and novels selling in droves. Also, commercials on television have the added benefit of being in video formats, in that they show action over time. This allows the behavioral aspect of the creature to be shown, whereas this would be almost impossible in static media. One example is the mode of the zombie, with its unnaturally slow, plodding gait, inability to respond to reason, and tendency to be shown in mindless hordes, highlighting the fact that though its form is human, it is now an abomination than anything. Also, the stalking demonic entity is another mode, as it creeps through shadows in almost every horror film trailer. These abilities to reflect behavior in an immediately recognizable way are what differentiate television commercials from any other media. MahaloVideoGames. "The Walking Dead Trailer." YouTube. YouTube, 24 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Imagery is the perfect medium for showcasing the creature of nightmare, as such a creature is often depicted to be an aberration of the human form, often in graphic means. Images tend to use contrast between light and dark or perfected nature with abomination to make the creature all the more visible. Some common manifestations of the creature are zombies, demons, or disfigured people. Images allow the artist to draw the creature’s desecrations in full, and often gory, detail. Images of nightmare creatures tend to follow this route of zombies or liches, as the subtle natures of the creature, such as symbolic markings or personality, do not lend themselves to graphics as well as gory imagery. What sets an image apart is that it is often permanent, in that a viewer usually can look at the image for extended periods, whether on picture-sharing websites or on posters. An artist can create the image with as high a level of symbolism as he or she desires, and the viewer can take as long a time as he or she desires to dwell upon the meaning. It is this potential for unlimited symbolism that makes graphics as a medium unique.
The creature of nightmare is a seldom talked about archetype in literary criticisms in terms of its overall role in literature. In fact, in various database searches, no articles were found talking about this archetype in the body of literature as a whole. Authors of literary criticisms seemed to focus more on the archetype’s role in one specific text or on its role in a certain author’s writing. This article, for example, talked about the role of the creature of nightmare in Stephen King’s writing. At one point the article points out, “King gives postmodern substance to the validated nightmare cliché. Applying naturalistic methods to an environment produced by popular culture, King creates the sense of a shared nightmare.” This quote tells us that the creature of nightmare in King’s writing connects to the reader through pop-cultural elements in the text. This article has informed us that in future reading of literature, we should look out for cultural connections in not just the creature of nightmare character, but all characters.
Music is often used to tell a story, and the lyrics of this particular song tell a very distinct story. These lyrics are about a "creature of the night." The song is from the perspective of the creature. It knows that something is wrong with it and that people fear it. It also says how it only comes out at night unlike everyone else. This is typical of a creature of nightmare, the fact that it comes out at night. The dark is usually associated with fear, so creatures of nightmare are usually active at night. It can clearly be gathered from the lyrics that the creature is also a desecration of the human body, since it was born from human parents but something about it is abnormal. This song is heavy with themes of the creature of nightmare archetype.
Children’s stories are often seen as mediums through which a culture teaches a set of values to the youth. Little Red Riding Hood is a great example of a children’s story that shapes the child’s understanding of society through the creature of nightmare archetype. In the story, the creature of nightmare, the wolf, tricks both Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother and ends up eating them both. As creatures of nightmare are known to do, the wolf endangered the life of the heroine and was also a perversion of a human because of its ability to speak. Through this story, children will understand to not talk to strangers and to be careful who they trust.
"Short Stories: Little Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm." Short Stories: Little Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
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