Paper 1 Prompt
Directions: Using one of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s seven theses about monsters and cultural
anxiety, locate, identify, and analyze one particular monster as it appears in literature, on film, or
on television. Explain the monster’s cultural function (or multiple functions), including both how
the monster indicates and gives voice to a particular cultural anxiety and how the monster’s
packaging (in film, etc.) functions to justify, strengthen, or distract from social, racial, gendered,
sexual, or political hierarchies in the status quo. In your analysis, incorporate Ingebretsen’s
argument of the necessity of monsters to the social order, how “[m]onsters show us who we are
by demonstrating what we shall be if (or when) we fail to keep up our necessary social
performance,” one by which “we show (prove, more like it) that we are human” (29), functioning
“as both a symptom of civic distress as well as an antidote” (29).
Make sure your thesis/central claim is arguable, that you are not simply asserting a factual truth.
You are to cite (in MLA style with 12 point, Times New Roman font, and one inch margins)
Cohen three times and Ingebretsen three times, as well as at least one other peer-reviewed article
of your choosing plus the primary source itself. The paper should include a Works Cited page,
formatted, as well, in MLA style. Not including the Works Cited page, the paper should be 6-8
pages long (typed, double-spaced).
Note: In addition to the peer-reviewed article, this paper should quote extensively from the
primary source (the text in which the monster is located: film, novel, play, poem, etc.). It is
important that you go beyond description here and integrate the
author’s/playwright’s/screenwriter’s own language into your analysis