Theidea of monsters is fascinating because it seems to produce aparadoxical combination of fear and pleasure. Accordingly, theconcept of vampires as living creatures that frighten and feeds onpeople is a myth that has continued to attract people across theAmerican society. The fiction of these monsters has been enhanced bythe film industry, which portrays the vampires as immortalbloodsucking beings that are only active during the night. Based onthese assumptions, the vampires have been in existences for manycenturies. Additionally, these creatures have long been attributedwith the dualism of life and death (Watkins 217). Besides, differentstories about vampires share some commonalities such the idea thatthese monsters feed on the life essence of their victims, whichmainly occurs by drinking the blood of either human beings or animals(Melton xxx). Some tales explains that vampires need blood to keeptheir body energetic and reduce the damage of decay because thesemonsters are always considered to be the reincarnation of dead humanbeings. Others believe that these creatures feed on blood as a cruelhabit to cause fear and havoc in the society. Nonetheless,the American society has always been captivated by the idea ofvampires because it is significant to diverse cultures, representsthe dark side of humanity, and has shaped people’s lifestyles, andbeliefs about death.
Significanceof vampires in the American Society
Thecontemporary community has always been thrilled by the idea ofmonsters, which are featured in stories and films such as vampires,witches, werewolves, and zombies. However, bloodsuckers play asignificant role in the American society because they are believed topossess a higher level of attractiveness as compared to the othermonsters. For instance, the vampires are portrayed as dangerous, butincredibly charming creatures (Butler 187). Consequently, the societyholds on to the allure of vampires, which is evident in thecontinuous use of this concept in films. The myth of these monstershas continued to impress more generations because of theirsupernatural powers such as incredible strength and the ability tocontrol people’s actions. Moreover, these creatures can transformother human beings into vampires using their blood, which gives themmore power and control over death (Round 213).
Thesignificance of the vampire tales has a pivotal position in theAmerican culture given its perceived divine attributes. However, somestories present these monsters as selfish and exploitative creaturesthat have dominion over human beings and other animals (Watkins 231).Consequently, it revives the traditional image of the industrialistwho exhibited similar characteristics. The bloodsucker imagecontinues to be relevant in the American society since it hasexemplified the extraordinary ability to live forever. Subsequently,it creates the impression of a possibility for young people to livefor eternity without losing their vigor or strength (Livingston 166).
Onthe other hand, the appeal of the vampire figure became dominantduring the Orthodox Marxist period. According to ancient authors,Marxist was a wealthy capitalist thus, his iconic character waspresented in various film and novels. Conversely, the vampire themewas used to expound on the fact that even the wealthiest individualshave dark sides. For example, in many fiction books, movies, andtelevision shows, these monsters are only active during the nightbecause most myths show that they can burn to death if they areexposed to the sun (Butler 187).
Thenagain, the vampire history is used to elaborate the Victorian era.According to archeologists, this age was a significant period definedby the strict ethical codes of conduct in the societies. As aresult, censorship was a used to highlight the exceptionalsensitivity during this era. For instances, the people were bannedfrom discussing the issues of sexuality in public. Consequently, thevampire concept was used to elaborate the context of literature andsexuality that had been prohibited. The tales of vampires alsoenlightened Americans about the Antichrist period of the 16thcentury. Therefore, the stories and concepts of these creatures havebeen used in both the ancient and modern literature and films toredefine the history of the wealthy and powerful in the society.
TheHuman Fascination and Continuity through History
Sincethe era of Dracula, the myth of vampires has always been in a cycleof popularity. Since the initial release of Stoker’s film, Dracula,in the nineteenth century, almost every subsequent generation hasportrayed an interest in these monsters (Melton and Hornick 199). Inthe twentieth century, the United States started integrating thevampire genre as a central element in films and books. However, asthese myths became integrated into the American culture, the idea ofmodern vampires started to change (Melton2).These transformations were mainly caused by the alterations inpractices and people’s relationship with religion.
Inthe early days, these supernatural creatures were defined primarilyby their blood thirst and sensitivity to the sunlight. Over therecent years, the vampires have assumed passionate good-lookingfeatures that have eliminated the monster-like characteristics thatwere previously associated with these creatures. For example, somecontemporary films portray the vampires as the charming and sometimesextremely wealthy people who hold prestigious titles in America’sthriving industries (Melton and Hornick 135). Therefore, thealterations of the concept have continued to follow the role,functionality, and intended purpose of vampires in the society overthe years.
Howhas the vampires changed over time
Thechanges in the monster characteristics have grown to reveal andelaborate human actions in the communities. For instance, differentgenerations have embraced various features of the vampires, which haspointed to people’s behavior in that particular period. Therepresentation of these creatures between the 1970s was a clearillustration of the major aspects of a conventional American society(Butler 199). During that time, these monsters were represented asblood-sucking animal hiding in dark places and preying on theinnocence as expressed by the many of authors and filmmakers in thatcentury. For example, the ancient authors described the blood-suckingcreatures in comparison to the devil himself.
Justifiably,many of the societies at that time did not commonly associatevampires with the human beings. Instead, they were compared to insanepeople who lived in the forests, mountains, and remote caves (Round187). Therefore, those came into contact with these creaturesunknowingly underwent exorcism rituals for purification. On the otherhand, the belief of faith combined with religion defined the earlyvampire images. Accordingly, the monster myths showed that the onlyway the human beings could defeat these creatures was using itemsthat were considered sacred such the crucifix and holy water.
Initially,the vampires were monsters whose physical features could easily scarethe people (Melton 22). However, this view has changed as they arenow depicted as normal human beings. Thus, it is hard for people todetect them unless they see some of their other characteristics suchas the fangs and reaction to the sun (Melton 20). Subsequently, theprogression from the 1970s created new ideas for defining themonsters. The vampire myth transformed to incorporate broadercultural characteristics evident in the twenty-first century.Consequently, these creatures were now used as the metaphors forsexuality (Melton xxxi). Besides, the new representation omitted thereligious views, which portrayed vampires as devilish creatures(Reimer, Ali, England and Unrau 231).
Therefore,the vampires no longer take the image of horrifying monsters.Instead, they are now used to represent the society’s notion ofgood and evil. For example, some modern films present vampires assmart and even funny creatures, which are capable of formingharmonious relationships with human beings (Melton and Hornick 199).Hence, their immortality features symbolize the knowledge that peoplemissed throughout history and the things they will lose when theydie. Accordingly, the myth helps eliminate the fear the unknownevents that take place after death (Packer, Sharon and Jody 221).
Inthe twenty-first century, the bloodsuckers have assumed the symbol ofheroes or sympathetic characters with whom the society can identifywith on moral basis. Furthermore, the issue of the vampires’ hungerfor blood has been transformed where some of these creatures aredepicted to use alternative sources of sustenance as opposed tokilling innocent people(Kapurch 195).For example, some films and literature show vampires that feed onanimals while others look for willing blood donors(Melton 19). Thus, theliterary and creative minds have continued to use the idea ofvampires as a means of illustrating the changes in the social norms.In the modern American society, the monsters emphasize the negativeaspects of human nature such as selfishness, obsession, and lack ofself-control. For instance, vampires are mainly used in films andbooks as a symbol of materialism and greed. Additionally, they tendto cause havoc and misfortune in the society. Besides, the vampiresin this century are sophisticated like rational human beings.However, these creatures have been given mighty power in almost alleras.
Waysin Which Have Shaped the American Lifestyle and Beliefs
Theidea of vampires has created various elements of the Americanbeliefs. For example, people have used the monsters to justify theunexplainable situations in the society such as strange deaths. Thenagain, the use of vampirism has resulted in theories that elaborateunnatural occurrences that do not comply with societal expectations.Therefore, the American people have accepted and incorporated thesemyths into their daily lives. For instance, the film industry hasbecome more associated to bloodsucking ideology as more people arewatching these movies, which has made it a lucrative venture.
Onthe other hand, when people do not comprehend something in theirlife, they tend to personify it. As such, the idea of vampires hasshaped people’s belief about death since they use this concept toprove that it is more complicated beyond the human understanding.Death is one of the most unexplained aspects of human life thus, allcultures are preoccupied with it to some level. Therefore, one wayin which the society handles the loss of life is by incarnating andgiving it some physical form using the concept of vampires.
Vampirequalities that is true about people
Evenso, the idea of vampires has influenced the essence of humanity sincethe American society has become insensitive to matters of religion.Such a standpoint is adequately elaborated by the fact that youngpeople adore vampires as evident in the increased popularity of filmsabout monsters. These creatures tend to fuel the viewers’ urge tobecome superior and live forever irrespective of the shortcomingssuch as a thirst for blood. Accordingly, it has resulted in a lineof thinking where some people act contrary to the norms that definehumanity. Besides, it shows how the American society has becomefascinated by the link between spirituality, science, and thesupernatural.
Accordingly,the vampires represent the dark side of humanity (Melton xxxii).These creatures exhibit the innate actions, which are against themoral standards. Therefore, several significant features of thevampires relate to people’s characteristics and actions. Forexample, over the years, the bloodsuckers have always been depictedto take the human form although they are considered dead people(Livingston 166). The monsters also emphasize on people’s desire toeliminate the challenges and problems they face using other likablefeatures in their lives. For example, the monsters have a weaknessfor blood and sunlight. However, they are believed to be very fastand strong thus, they can escape their weaknesses. Nonetheless, somescholars argue that the connection between vampire and religion nolonger exists due to the rise of secular technological culture, whichlacks the notion of spiritualism.
Nevertheless,the monster concept always reflects the social structures and valuesof the culture in which these ideas exist. Therefore, the ideologyof monsters has been related to human beings’ religious beliefs. Inthe last decades, the bloodsuckers were portrayed as a sign of thedevil. However, this notion has changed as they are now depicted asattractive creatures, which have the power to get what they desire(Reimer, Ali, England and Unrau 177). For example, the vampires areillustrated in some films and books to be successful due to theirvast knowledge of various issues in the past. It shows the importanceof information in the society since most people who are consideredsuccessful have a wide and almost unlimited access to information.Conversely, the vampires are also portrayed as creatures that engagein immoral behavior in the darkness such as feeding on blood. Hence,it illustrates how human beings ventures into wicked ways when theyare away from the public. Moreover, the cunning nature of the vampireis closely related to man’s crafty ways of acquiring wealth(Kapurch 195).
Americanshave always been interested in the concept of vampires that hasbecome popular due to its representation of the dark side of humanityand its influence on people’s lifestyles and attitude about death.The idea of monsters has been altered over the years to following thetransformations in social norms, cultural aspects, and beliefs.Likewise, the vampire myth has changed over time as exhibited infilms and literature. The vampires are one of the earliest, mostresilient myths in modern media because they have existed in variousforms in almost every culture worldwide. The bloodsuckers have beena central focus for the American culture for centuries. Therefore,these creatures have shaped the way people think about religion. Inearly societies, the vampires were used to reference the evil spiritsor demonic possessions, which could only be eliminated throughspiritual means. Furthermore, the concept of monsters was developedby the early societies to explore the subjects that were consideredcontroversial and inappropriate to discuss in public such assexuality. Later, the perception changed, and vampirism is no longerintertwined with the idea of spirituality, but rather it integratesthe theories of science. Over the years, the vampires have beenincreasingly incorporated in films and literature materials, whichshow the immense admiration that people have towards these creatures. As a result, these monsters have significantly changed to take amore human-like form over decades. However, despite the era, vampireshave always being portrayed as creatures that require blood forsustenance and are extremely active at night. Besides, they have theability to transform their victims because they possess more strengthand power than human beings. On the other hand, the idea of vampireshas been widely used by the American society to explain some issuessuch as death. Besides, these creatures are used to show people’sdesire to eliminate their weaknesses and instead embrace their bestqualities. Even so, the vampires also portray a dark side of humanbeings because they have always being associated with death and theneed for blood. They show how people are inclined to engage inimmoral behaviors despite their appealing traits, which mainlyapplies to the devious strategies that some people use to acquirewealth. The appearance of monsters throughout history and thesociety’s continued fascination with these creatures demonstrates auniversal response to the human condition in the society at anyparticular time. Therefore, it shows that it is human nature to casttheir fears as monsters. Consequently, with the current popularity ofvampire genre in television series and movies, it seems that themythical creatures will not lose their appeal anytime soon.Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that these monsters willcontinue to evolve and correspond to beings that attract theattention of other generation for years to come.
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