“No matter how many times King Arthur killed the ogre of Mount Saint Michael, the monster reappeared in another heroic chronicle…” (Cohen 4).
Jeffery Jerome Cohen wrote that in his work ‘Monster Culture (Seven Theses)’, in the introduction for the second thesis, ‘The Monster Always Escapes,’ and it leaves one to really think about monsters and the way they always seem to survive at the end, no matter what fate the ‘hero’ has bestowed upon them.
King Arthur is only one example, and the ogre he slays is only one monster. First, one has to define what the monster is within the narrative. The ‘monster’ may not necessarily always be evil, although it typically is. For example, in horror movies, more specifically Freddy or Jason. Both have their own movie franchises, and at the end of their respective films, these monsters appear to have been killed. And yet, they survive, and then come back in a different movie, but with a similar story.
The Terminator movies are another franchise that comes to mind when I think of a ‘monster’ coming back. The Terminator, that is the actual character most famously portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, always seems to be killed off in the end, but then some part of him survives and is used to either recreate the original Terminator, or a newer one, which is then later killed and the cycle continues. But this franchise is an example of how the ‘monster’ is not always evil, but is still ‘killed’ in the end. His role is flipped between the various films, but throughout the franchise is still considered a monster.
Why is it that culture has changed us, making us crave this resurrection of the monster? We constantly want to see more of this monster that we were so sure our favourite heroic character has managed to kill off, the world once again free from the likes of Freddy or Jason. Maybe we are the reason these monsters keep coming back from the dead, we are the ones unwilling to let them die.
“Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” in Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Ed. Jeffery Jerome Cohen. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Rat. in ENGL 3140: The Apocalypse in Literature and Film. Comp. K. Simpson. Kamloops, BC: Thompson Rivers University Bookstore, 2016. 3-25. Print.