On Monsters

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Monstrous Actions Vs. Monstrous Appearance

Many people perceive monsters as anything grotesque or not looking like the norm. In the book On Monsters, written by Asma, he mentions an array of monsters. He states, “One aspect of the monster concept seems to be the breakdown of intelligibility. An action or a person or a thing is monstrous when it can’t be processed by our rationality, and also when we cannot readily relate to the emotional range involved” (Asma 10). Because our perception is blinded by appearance, we fail to see the truth behind a monster –their actions. Although people define a monster by their appearance, it’s their actions that give them their identity. For example, catastrophes are monsters because of all the devastation and destruction they cause. Asma implies, “Sometimes the monster is a display of God’s wrath” (Asma 13). The tsunami and earthquake of Japan, for example is a recent manifestation of God’s wrath. Because of this catastrophic monster, countless people lost their lives, homes, cars, and face strenuous work to clean and restore what was once there. God doesn’t just conjure up a catastrophe whenever he pleases; although sometimes people need reminder of his existence and power. These catastrophes are a reminder of just that –His existence and power. God is the creator of every living form in the world, but that doesn’t make him a monster. God isn’t the monster here, it’s his creations. Moreover, many people are monsters because of the pain and suffering they instill in another human being. Repeatedly in the media, we witness news about parents harming their own children and children harming their own parents. Medea, a character vividly described by Asma as a “monstrous mother,” is a prime example of the monstrous person. The tale of Medea is about a mother consumed by much hate and anger with her husband, Jason; for “cheating” on her by proposing to another woman in order to climb the political ladder. In the event of all her...
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