Movie the light of the way things used to

Movie monsters became a form of escapism for people of the 1930’s when the U.S. stock market crashed and plunged America into the Great Depression. Americans found themselves in their own fears and nightmares of their broken American dream. The poor people when to the movies, with tickets priced at a nickel a film, the movies provide a cheap escape from the horrors of their life to forget their troubles for an hour or so (Eggersten). The horror films of the Great Depression included: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Freaks (1931) and The Mummy (1932). These films displayed more about the thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears of Americans and these creatures reinforced those fears that these Americans had (Poupard). Frankenstein (1931) become the most famous horror film of the Great Depression, maybe because it showed their fear and dreams more than the audience realized. Frankenstein opens with Henry Frankenstein and his partner Fritz digging up a grave and removing the body from the coffin. During the dig Henry states, “What changes darkness into the light?”, which is a question many Americans at this time where asking themselves. How where they going to get out of this darkness of fear and back into the light of the way things used to be. Americans can sympathies with Henry Frankenstein in that his dreams have gone fatally awry and with the monster as well (Dillard, 12). When his creature has made his dreams gone completely out of control. People of the Depression sympathies with Frankenstein’s monster because as Skal states “…Frankenstein monster is a poignant symbol for an army of object and abandoned laborers, down to his work clothes and asphalt-spreader’s boots (Skal, 159).” Frankenstein symbolizes the workers that were abandoned by their jobs, government, and creators when the stock market crashed and the Dust Bowel come upon the Great Plains. When Frankenstein escapes from Henry’s castle he yearns for air and the light like a flower. The life that animates him is the life we all share (Dillard, 19). Frankenstein was born in a darkness that he wants to escape from, like Americans at this time did too. The film represents the time because it expresses the human need for growth and largeness, and it also expresses the limitations which hamper that growth and give to life both its tragic possibilities and its heroic potentialities (Dillard, 32).

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