Monsters and food issues

The “Twilight” saga, as some of you know, centers around a young woman who is being courted by both a vampire and a werewolf. Pop culture has visited similar themes before. For example, the Buffyverse led several women I know to ponder the question “Would you rather date Oz or Spike?”

Seen as archetypes, werewolves and vampires form a nice opposing dialectic. A vampire is seemingly a creature of energy more than of flesh, ethereal and wraithlike. In Bram Stoker’s original conception, the vampire had the ability to read and control minds, become weightless, or transform at will into a bat or even into fog. He was not so much an actual creature, as an idea of a creature, the monster conceived as a kind of dark version of Ariel.

The werewolf on the other hand, is a heady mix of human and beast. When the moon is full he grows hirsute, longs to consume flesh, becomes a slave to his own feral emotions. This is monster as Caliban.

It seems to me that which of these monsters one is drawn to comes down to food issues. Are you the kind of person who finds bodily functions distasteful, or who fantasizes about the Dinner at a country inn scene from Tom Jones?

Let’s put it another way. If you were an architect designing an office building only for vampires, you probably would not need to bother with such details as kitchens and bathrooms. Hell, you wouldn’t even need windows.

On the other hand, if you got the commission to design the werewolf office park, you had better pay attention to the earthly details. For example, all your restrooms would need to have extremely good air flow. If, um, you see what I mean. 🙂

One thought on “Monsters and food issues”

  1. Thanks for pointing out the werewolf/vampire division; I hadn’t seen that (perhaps because I’m neither a teenage girl nor a Twighlight viewer).

    Having seen that, I would veer away from the food element. I don’t think it’s quite so deeply Freudian. Isn’t the classic dilemma for women that they are attracted both by strong personality and by physique? So the vampire is the personification of charisma, and the werewolf is the personification of the beast.

    This is head vs heart; does the girl choose the romantic, mystical deal of the vampire, and fulfil perhaps her more socially accepted desires, or the beast, who might fulfil her more basic, animal, but socially hidden desires.

    We could go on with the analogy; a vampire seeks fulfilment of himself, his identity by drinking her blood; this is romanticism, that her very blood is desirable, or translated that her self is desirable. The beast seeks to fulfil his physical desire, i.e. she is physically desirable.

    Society these days demands that women display a desire for romance, while pressing them to see much of their value in their beauty, but in absence of any significant physical desire of their own (though this is changing). Perhaps the vampire and werewolf permit women to explore their own desires, their own fantasies, and perhaps understand how they are reacting emotionally to society’s demands.

    In all this, men have a simpler task; society expects them to want to succeed in some endeavour, and by their success (i.e. within society’s reward structure and rules) fulfil their natural sexual desires. The men that do not fit are those who do not seek success, or who make women their feared idol rather than an accessory of success. But nowhere is there a need to subvert the id, to be attractive but not to desire in return.

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