The Monster Theory


The monster theory is a figurative language of explaining things done by people in the society. The monster is created to explain things that cannot be given a specific gender, form or tangible existence identity. This is because the monster presents itself in the form of fears, obstacles, negative influences or even scary possibilities for the human being. The monster can also be a sources of threat to the well-being of the human being in various forms like mental wellness, social interactions and peaceful existence as well. This is because the monster can sometimes present in the form of a desire that hides behind fear, the need or opportunity for change, the form that always escapes and threatens to upset the conformist traits. The theses of the monster by Cohen are many but the above named mesh well together when explaining the validity of the society. The monster theory tends to explain the functionality of the society by highlighting the many challenges that people have to deal with in ensuring that they live up to their own expectations (Cohen). It is important that the monster culture is well broken down to explain the society’s functionality based on the people’s personal creativity. It could help people understand why some people may act as they do without coming across as being biased or deranged.
The monster culture by Cohen is a long explanation of the ability of the human mind to adjust to life. This includes the fact that the society is institutionalised to deal with challenges that come up as a result of the individual state of minds of the members of the society. It is important for the society to be made aware of the problems that the monsters in their heads cause. They can easily be manipulated into doing bad things like committing crime under the guise of the monster that polices the borders of the possible. It is important to understand all the members of the society prior to judging their faith and objecting their decision to live their truths. This is as in the case of the gay people who end up committing suicide because they are afraid of what the society will make of them once they know their truths (Howard). The monster culture in the lives of people in the society should be used to create a social standing that is conducive for coexistence. It is important that when looking at Cohen’s work, the ability of the human mind to control the monsters is challenged in the process as well. The culture of the monster is a well-established creation of literature that explains the society to make it more understandable in the simplest terms possible. When reading through Cohen’s work, it is also important that one recognizes the use of personification of the monster to take on the human form. The monster always escapes, polices the borders of the possible as well as stands at the threshold of becoming, is a human aspect given to the monster form. The fact that the monster’s actual form cannot be touched is an indication that the power of the monster is difficult to measure and the influence is also difficult to quantify.

The Monster that always escapes

The monster that always escapes is a force that cannot be eliminated fully. There is always some residual monster trait in the individual. This is because the fear instilled cannot be physically ripped off from the person and eliminated to leave them free. This is seen in events that are traumatic and the impact of these events never truly leaves. People who have been in tragic accidents can attest to this. They can go through counselling and therapy but every time they get into a vehicle, the events of the crash will always recur at the back of their minds. This is a monster in the form of fear that can never be done away with completely. In events like accidents, the fear is the residual effect of the trauma but there are instances where people are left with scars and the incident never goes away even when they adjust to their lives anew. This means that in the quest of dealing with the trauma and rising above it, the monster of fear of the event recurring will always be present. This means that the monster of fear that cannot be fully erased is the one that always gets away (Cohen). It is important that when looking into monster culture one focuses their energy in finding out their ability to get hold of monsters and destroy them completely. The monster of fear and insecurity always gets away because it cannot be completely eliminated and there is always an element left to remind the subject of the event. There is an array of events in the life of an individual that would spike a monster that never goes away. It could be grief, loss of a job, relationship failures and other frustrations in the society. The monster that never goes away is essentially the most complicated of feelings to deal with.

Fear of the monster is really a kind of desire

The fear of the monster is really a kind of desire is a theme that stands between the fear of new ventures and the desire to actually cross over to the new venture or achieve something that is out of reach without putting in extra effort. Being scared of reaching certain heights can make an individual want to try and achieve the unachievable. This is mainly what may drive people to write movie scripts depicting their out of reach imagination. There are many ways in which the monster of fear can be masked as a desire or vice versa. The monster of fear or desire is assumed to represent the unknown in the lives of the individual. It is important for a person to take into consideration how far they can stretch in a quest to achieve their goals and desires. It is important that as a person is dealing with a fear or a desire, they are made aware of the implications of these desires (Cohen). The desires that are marred with fear are unreachable because the fear prevents the human mind from probing more into the desire (Howard). The fears prevents people from chasing their desires and achieving their dreams. An example of this is when people are relationship turmoil where they do not have the courage to leave an abusive relationship and move on to a new and comfortable one for the fear that they may not get any better partners. The fears that block people from getting to their desires would present in the form of poor credit ratings that would make it difficult for anybody to start a dream business. It would also be in the form of poor grades and complex units that prevent people from studying their courses of choice. When analysing the concept of fear in the society, one can easily relate to the obstacles that they face on a daily basis as they strive to achieve their financial, life and even career and family goals.

The monster polices the borders of the possible

The monster polices the borders of the possible. These are the things that keep the human brain from taking a risk. This can be considered the difference between entrepreneurs and employees. The entrepreneurs beat their monster of fear and take risks defying the assumption that the monster prevents people from taking risks and breaking away from the norm to create big businesses. It is also the same kind of monster that makes people stay in jobs that are not rewarding for the fear of quitting and finding new jobs. The monster that polices the borders of the possible are also the secret personalities that people keep to prevent them from engaging in things that they would otherwise not do in public. They can present private thoughts and desires of doing things that are out of the ordinary. The monster also gives the human mind a thrill to do risky things. This is the monster that would lead people to commit crimes because the drive to act out of step is embedded in their hidden monster (Cohen). This is also to mean that with reference to the monster being a kind of desire would also drive people to crime. The monster that never escapes would make habits like alcoholism and crime hard to beat. They always are at the back of the mind of the individual with a risks of recurring any time they get the push. The monster always gives the individuals the idea that they might actually commit a crime and get away with it or not feel guilty about it. This would mean that the individual where the monster resides is capable of being a criminal, being a successful person or even an iconic person in the society. People need to know their monsters and find ways of dealing with them if it is for a good course. However, there is a drive that makes people want to capitalize on the drive by the monster to tap into the possibilities that might end up being dangerous for all members involved. 

The monster that stands at the threshold of becoming

The monster that stands at the threshold of becoming is the one which pushes the human mind to determine its truth. It is an inquisitive kind of monster that would easily lead the human mind to bring out their hidden desires. The monster that stands in the threshold of becoming inspires people to reach out to their objects of desire even when the society make it a taboo subject. The culture assumptions of a society are always created to prevent people from acting on their desires as they please (Howard). This is often to ensure that the people cannot be free to do everything they want whenever they want without hurting their neighbours. It is important that people would be in a position to make decisions without fear of being judged. This fear is the monster that stands at the threshold of becoming. It prevents people from exploring their true personalities. This is the state of mind that would make gay people afraid of revealing their orientation for fear of victimization. It would also create a void where they would not be trusting to their friends or even family and the society as well. This monster has lead people to commit suicide when they cannot handle the pressure that comes with hiding their identities and beliefs. This is the monster that makes people sceptical about what other people would think about them. This monster prevents people from having the freedom of expression and live as they please. This monster has created an opinionated society that makes difficult for people to freely express their truths and live their beliefs.


The monster culture in the society is real and applicable to many fronts. This is because any human activity can be influenced by the monster in many different ways. The monster can instil fear of the unknown and prevent people from achieving their full potential. The monster can also cause the society to alienate people who have different monsters that cause them to do things differently. The monster can also make people do bad things and try to get away with it or even make more people follow their lead. The monster in the lives of people can also take it upon themselves to make them live better lives if they suffered traumatic experiences as a result of recklessness or lack of knowledge. The monster can either be a positive or negative influence to people in the society. The monster culture has been used to explain the actions of people in the society and how things turn out when people break away from the norm.

Works Cited

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Document.

Howard, Kelsey. Monester theory seven theses. 09 October 2006. Online. 21 May 2018.

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