"What a Perfect Monster!" Gone Girl's Destablization of Feminine Archetypes in Popular Media

Files

orman._what_a_perfect_monster (1).pdf

Citation

Orman, Stephanie, “"What a Perfect Monster!" Gone Girl's Destablization of Feminine Archetypes in Popular Media,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed April 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/202.

Title

"What a Perfect Monster!" Gone Girl's Destablization of Feminine Archetypes in Popular Media

Creator

Orman, Stephanie

Date

2016

Description

Critical theorist Jack Halberstam and cultural historian Scott Poole have both defined the monster as a ‘meaning machine’—an embodiment, not of a natural or innate psychological terror, but something mutable and ever changing. The forms the monster has taken over the ages and throughout literature are innumerable. A monster— in any form—may be a bundle of contradictions, simultaneously a threat to an ordered society and the standard that society is maintained against.

Across mediums, genres and texts, and over the course of centuries, the monster has been a symbol of deviance, an object of sympathy, and an image of erotic desire. In spite of its many incarnations, the monster always represents the disruption of categories, the disruption of boundaries, and the presence of ‘Otherness’. Through the figure of the monster, readers and critics alike may uncover social values and societal critiques, as well as the potential of genres of literature, from fairy tales to gothic stories, noir mysteries to contemporary fiction, to both portray and interrogate those values. As such, the monster often becomes the primary locus of interpretation in its narratives, for critics as well as audiences and readers.

This paper will use Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (2012), and David Fincher’s 2014 cinematic adaptation, as mediums through which to examine the archetype of the monstrous woman in contemporary American popular culture.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (18 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses