Monster making too close to home Essay
Monster making too close to home
Since Martha was killed with Tony Penna golf clubs, Biema connects the suspects to the crime by stating how “Tony Penna golf clubs where rare, but Tommy and Michael’s mother, who had recently died of cancer, had left behind a set” (47). Clearly, Biema believes that Michael and Thomas Skakel were guilty by the association he creates with the murder weapon and the suspect. Ingebretsen establishes that “by definition, a ‘story’ or narrative establishes conditions in which random or contingent events are given necessary and seemingly universal existence by the disarming ‘and then'” (para.
14). Although both pieces of evidence, the golf clubs their mother left behind and the ones found at the crime scene, had no real connection with each other than the brand of golf clubs, the author adds his own translation of the story to build suspense and, in the end, to entertain. To further trap the reader into his creation of the Skakel monster, Biema uses strong words to categories Skakel as a ‘killer. ‘ Strong and powerful words are used categorize the suspect and tell us how we must feel about the criminal even if we dare to form our own opinions.
Biema further condemns this Kennedy cousin by using an extract of a proposed book about Skakel’s confinement in the drug and alcohol clinic for the rich: “Skakel describes being made to wear a sign around his neck… it read: I AM AN ARROGANT RICH BRAT. CONFRONT ME ON WHY I KILLED MY FRIEND MARTHA” (46). Not only does the sign validate Skakel’s guiltiness towards the crime, but it also categorizes him as an “arrogant rich brat. ” Biema’s target audience seems to be the middle and lower class people. He separates Skakel from the norm by classifying him as ‘different than us.
‘ The same idea is maintained by Ingebretsen when he points out how “the most oppressive chains are those spells – words – by which we nominate and transfix people in categories of likeness and deviancy” (para. 28). He uses the word deviancy to emphasize how these words place the monster into a category that give him a different behavior and state when compared to that of the common folk. Generally, Biema’s entire article separates Skakel from the ‘norm,’ but what finalizes Ingebretsen’s formula for monster making is the expiation of the monster.
The article in Time magazine comes to a conclusion just as the typical monster would reach its end in death. Although Skakel does not literally ‘die,’ Biema has used the beginnings of classic story-telling techniques leaving the capturing of the monster as the only closure to this dramatic novella. As Ingebretsen proposes, “Monster’s provide variety to the civic repertoire… titillation, condemnation, and expiation” (para. 7). So far, Biema has mesmerized us with narratives that appeal to our senses and also pronounced Skakel as guilty regardless if proven innocent.
The final blow is “expiation” where the monster reaches its final steps before being sacrificed in public view. In the case of the Time article, Biema ends with a testimony from the mother of Martha Moxley, the 15-year-old murder victim: “For years, she says, she thought Thomas Skakel killed her daughter… She has learned how to wait” (48). Using this as the final thoughts of the article shows how Biema has easily convinces us, using Ingebretsen’s formula on monster making, that Thomas Skakel was the monster that Killed Martha Moxley.
He makes us think of sayings such as ‘good things come to those who wait’ to show how justice will finally be served for the unforgiving death of this young girl. So in the end we find that monsters come from our imaginations. If the media ‘dresses up’ the suspect with enough pulp narrative and classic movie monster horror thrills, anybody can become a monster in the public’s eye. Even if the media is to blame, we accept what they tell us and in fact help some of us to succeed in life by showing us where the line between right and wrong stands. If we see how bad our lives can become, we feel better about ourselves.
Monsters are created to discourage us from doing what they do because in time, monsters will always get caught.
Works Cited Biema, David V. “A crime in the clan. ” TIME Vol. 155 No. 4, January 31, 2000: 46-48. Ingebretsen, Edward J. “Monster-Making: A Politics of Persuasion. ” Journal of American Culture 21. 2 (1998): 25-35. <http://www. u. arizona. edu/ic/polis/ courses021/ENGL_101-20/MonsterMaking. html> Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 November 2017
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