Based on my readings of both The Nature of Horror (Carroll, 2003) and Danse Macabre (King, 2010) I have to come to a conclusion about the nature of “the monster”.
The monster is an evil of real life, be it true, or perceived, given physical form. As they often represent all the ugliness of the real world concept (usually a social issue present in the minds of the time it sprung from). One could argue that if Dracula were to be written by a contemporary American author, the count would more than likely be a CEO and his sucking of the life from his victims would be done through the private health insurance corporation he runs as well as his fangs.
Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth is very… of its time. to put it as lightly as possible. its central concern relates to Lovecraft’s own bigoted and entirely irrational fear of interracial procreation. Very ’20s and ’30s. As a time ruled by such ideas as eugenics and less than a lifetime after the abolition of slavery in the United States and the resulting American civil war such concerns, while terminally invalid, were still widespread. After generations of humans laying with Dagons, the town of Innsmouth is entirely populated by horrifying half-human, half-fish-monster hybrids. if you replace the Dagons with black people you get what Lovecraft actually meant and… oh bloody dear (Lovecraft, 1936).
Let’s go with this hypothetical Dracula retelling again. I consider it to be a fair assumption that all, or at least most, of the people reading this are New Zealand citizens or residents given the school this blog is run by. so I would like to first seed in your mind a uniquely American problem. An average of 45.000 people die in the United States per year due to lack of basic healthcare (Brayon, 2018) and 530,000 (Konish, 2019) families go bankrupt from medical costs. Seriously. This has become a major talking point of American politics in the last few years. As a present fear, this would be perfect for a horror story. in today’s political climate.
So Chief executive officer Vlad Dracula jacks his prices to absurd degrees causing the deaths of many people and the bodies of those who die in his care are wheeled off to his mansion to be devoured, at the same tie as he bankrupts their families to continue to find his lavish lifestyle. Only more horrors awaiting our modernized Dr Johnathan Harker, sick of letting die patients he can save and Abraham Van Hellsing with his knowledge f the supernatural and the entire vampire killing crew. Simple really, weave the real-life fears of the reader into the narrative and you’ve terrified a generation. However, while King would argue allegory is inherent to the horror story I would advise to have your allegory and themes all in mind and planned out before put pen to paper or finger to key for the first time (Stoker, 1897).
No you can’t take this idea, I thought of it first, thank you very much.
King, S. (2010). Danse macabre. Retrieved from https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4908672-dt-content-rid-10075160_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Stephen%20King%20Danse%20Macabre%20reading.pdf
Carroll, N. (2003). The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart. London, England: Routledge. Retrieved from https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4908672-dt-content-rid-10061418_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/The_Philosophy_of_Horror_Or%2C_Paradoxes_of_the_Hear…_—-_%281_The_Nature_of_Horror%29.pdfhttps://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4908672-dt-content-rid-10061418_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/The_Philosophy_of_Horror_Or%2C_Paradoxes_of_the_Hear…_—-_%281_The_Nature_of_Horror%29.pdf
Stoker, B. (1897). Dracula.
Lovecraft, H. P. (1936). The shadow over Innsmouth. Everett, PA: Visionary publishing company.
Brayton, E. (2018, October 15). Study: 45,000 deaths per year due to lack of health insurance. Retrieved from https://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/10/15/study-45000-deaths-per-year-due-to-lack-of-health-insurance/
Konish, L. (2019, February 11). This is the real reason most Americans file for bankruptcy. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/this-is-the-real-reason-most-americans-file-for-bankruptcy.html