The 'Evil Child' in Literature, Film and Popular Culture

Author: Karen J. Renner

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317966740

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 198

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The 'evil child' has infiltrated the cultural imagination, taking on prominent roles in popular films, television shows and literature. This collection of essays from a global range of scholars examines a fascinating array of evil children and the cultural work that they perform, drawing upon sociohistorical, cinematic, and psychological approaches. The chapters explore a wide range of characters including Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter series, the possessed Regan in William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, the monstrous Ben in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child, the hostile fetuses of Rosemary’s Baby and Alien, and even the tiny terrors featured in the reality television series Supernanny. Contributors also analyse various themes and issues within film, literature and popular culture including ethics, representations of evil and critiques of society. This book was originally published as two special issues of Literature Interpretation Theory.
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Evil Children in the Popular Imagination

Author: Karen J. Renner

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137599634

Category: Social Science

Page: 213

View: 8293

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Focusing on narratives with supernatural components, Karen J. Renner argues that the recent proliferation of stories about evil children demonstrates not a declining faith in the innocence of childhood but a desire to preserve its purity. From novels to music videos, photography to video games, the evil child haunts a range of texts and comes in a variety of forms, including changelings, ferals, and monstrous newborns. In this book, Renner illustrates how each subtype offers a different explanation for the problem of the “evil” child and adapts to changing historical circumstances and ideologies.
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Cruel Children in Popular Texts and Cultures

Author: Monica Flegel,Christopher Parkes

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319722751

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 312

View: 645

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This book explores how alarmist social discourses about 'cruel' young people fail to recognize the complexity of cruelty and the role it plays in child agency. Examining representations of cruel young people in popular texts and popular culture, the collected essays demonstrate how gender, race, and class influence who gets labeled 'cruel' and which actions are viewed as negative, aggressive, and disruptive. It shows how representations of cruel young people negotiate the violence that shadows polite society, and how narratives of cruelty and aggression are used to affirm, or to deny, young people’s agency.
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Elder Horror

Essays on Film's Frightening Images of Aging

Author: A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476635072

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 255

View: 3095

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As baby boomers gray, cinematic depictions of aging and the aged are on the rise. In the horror genre, fears of growing old take on fantastic proportions. Elderly characters are portrayed as either eccentric harbingers of doom--the crone who stops at nothing to restore her youth, the ancient ancestor who haunts the living--or as frail victims. This collection of new essays explores how various filmic portrayals of aging, as an inescapable horror destined to overtake us all, reflect our complex attitudes toward growing old, along with its social, psychological and economic consequences.
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History of the Gothic: Twentieth-Century Gothic

Author: Lucie Armitt

Publisher: University of Wales Press

ISBN: 1783164336

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 5122

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Why, at a time when the majority of us no longer believe in ghosts, demons, or the occult, does Gothic continue to have such a strong grasp upon literature, cinema and popular culture? This book answers this question through exploring some of the ways in which we have applied Gothic tropes to our everyday fears. The book opens with The Turn of the Screw, a text dealing in the dangers adults pose to children while simultaneously questioning the assumed innocence of all children. As our culture becomes increasingly anxious about child safety the uncanny surfaces in the popular imagination in the form of the paedophile or the child murderer. At the same time, the Gothic has always brought danger home, and another key focus of the book lies in the various manifestations undertaken by the haunted house during the twentieth century, from the bombed-out spaces of the blitz (‘The Demon Lover’ and The Night Watch) to the designer bathrooms of wealthy American suburbia (What Lies Beneath). Gothic monsters can also be terror monsters, and after a discussion of terrorism and atrocity in relation to burial alive the book examines the relationship between the human and the inhuman through the role of the beast monster as manifestation of the evil that resides in our midst (The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Birds). It is with the dangers of the body that the Gothic has been most closely associated and, during the later twentieth century, paranoia attaches itself to skeletal forms and ghosts in the wake of the HIV/AIDs crisis. Sexuality and/as disease is one of the themes of Patrick McGrath’s work (Dr Haggard’s Disease and ‘The Angel’) and the issue of skeletons in the closet is also explored through Henry James’s ‘The Jolly Corner’. However, sexuality is also one of the most liberating aspects of Gothic narratives. After a brief discussion of camp humour in the British television drama series Jekyll, the book concludes with a discussion of the apparitional lesbian through the work of Sarah Waters.
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Horror and the Horror Film

Author: Bruce F. Kawin

Publisher: Anthem Press

ISBN: 0857282417

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 268

View: 3820

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Horror films can be profound fables of human nature and important works of art, yet many people dismiss them out of hand. ‘Horror and the Horror Film’ conveys a mature appreciation for horror films along with a comprehensive view of their narrative strategies, their relations to reality and fantasy and their cinematic power. The volume covers the horror film and its subgenres – such as the vampire movie – from 1896 to the present. It covers the entire genre by considering every kind of monster in it, including the human.
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Twentieth-Century Gothic

Author: Lucie Armitt

Publisher: University of Wales Press

ISBN: 0708323626

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 191

View: 2381

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Why, at a time when the majority of us no longer believe in ghosts, demons, or the occult, does Gothic continue to have such a strong grasp upon literature, cinema and popular culture? This book answers this question through exploring some of the ways in which we have applied Gothic tropes to our everyday fears. The book opens with The Turn of the Screw, a text dealing in the dangers adults pose to children while simultaneously questioning the assumed innocence of all children. As our culture becomes increasingly anxious about child safety the uncanny surfaces in the popular imagination in the form of the paedophile or the child murderer. At the same time, the Gothic has always brought danger home, and another key focus of the book lies in the various manifestations undertaken by the haunted house during the twentieth century, from the bombed-out spaces of the blitz (‘The Demon Lover’ and The Night Watch) to the designer bathrooms of wealthy American suburbia (What Lies Beneath). Gothic monsters can also be terror monsters, and after a discussion of terrorism and atrocity in relation to burial alive the book examines the relationship between the human and the inhuman through the role of the beast monster as manifestation of the evil that resides in our midst (The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Birds). It is with the dangers of the body that the Gothic has been most closely associated and, during the later twentieth century, paranoia attaches itself to skeletal forms and ghosts in the wake of the HIV/AIDs crisis. Sexuality and/as disease is one of the themes of Patrick McGrath’s work (Dr Haggard’s Disease and ‘The Angel’) and the issue of skeletons in the closet is also explored through Henry James’s ‘The Jolly Corner’. However, sexuality is also one of the most liberating aspects of Gothic narratives. After a brief discussion of camp humour in the British television drama series Jekyll, the book concludes with a discussion of the apparitional lesbian through the work of Sarah Waters.
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Deliver Us From Evil

Boston University Studies in Philosophy and Religion

Author: M. David Eckel,Bradley L. Herling

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1441116419

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 1318

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Evil is a problem that will not go away. For some it is an inescapable fact of the human condition. For others "evil" is a term that should only be used to name the most horrible of crimes. Still others think that the worst problem lies with the abuse of the term: using it to vilify a misunderstood enemy. No matter how we approach it, "evil" is a concept that continues to call out for critical reflection. This volume collects the results of a two-year deliberation within the Boston University Institute for Philosophy of Religion lecture series, bringing together scholars of religion, literature, and philosophy. Its essays provide a thoughtful, sensitive, and wide-ranging consideration of this challenging problem-and of ways that we might be delivered from it.
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Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg

Author: Adrian Schober,Debbie Olson

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 1498518850

Category: Social Science

Page: 326

View: 1864

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This collection, representing the work of scholars from a range of theoretical frameworks and disciplines, examines aspects of the preoccupation with children and childhood in Steven Spielberg’s films. It includes essays on such films as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Empire of the Sun, Hook, Jurassic Park, and more.
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