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Mosters Misunderstood: How Fear Creates the Moster Archetype in Myhology

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What is an archetype and what is a stereotype? That was the question I was asked on the first day of class. It was something that I had never thought of for more than a minute, but I would soon learn that archetypes and stereotypes show themselves in everyday media and have walked, hand and hand, throughout time. Of the many archetypes and stereotypes that popped into my head, one has rang true throughout the quarter, the idea that we, as a society, make monsters out of those people or cultures that we fear or do not understand. This can be seen throughout time, but the most noticeable ones are: the myth of vampires, especially Dracula, from Eastern Europe, the urban legends that surround homosexuals, and the stereotypes that society has about the Muslim religion.
The Vampires: Fathers of Monster Myth
One of the most interesting and misunderstood cultures is that of the Eastern Europeans and, most notably, the myths of the vampires. Vampire myth has its greatest hold among the West Slavs and the South Slavs (Willis 2006). The vampire was created for different reasons, but the main two were to “curse” those who were evil and to explain the natural decomposition of the body. Those who are worst affected were also the most misunderstood: werewolves, sorcerers, witches, sinners, and the godless. In certain places, like Bulgaria, murderers, robbers, prostitutes and others who were socially undesirable (ibid). Vampires were thought to roam the earth at night, biting victims and sucking out their souls, eventually leading the individual to wither and die. They were also connected to many untimely deaths of family mothers, with one belief that vampires could even kill family members by chewing on their burial garments (Barber...


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Willis, Roy, ed. World Mythology. New York: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.



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