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Monster Making Too Close To Home.

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Introduction

Monster Making Too Close To Home Where do monsters come from? Can they be people we come in contact with everyday of our lives? Sometimes, when little is known about that evening's current event, the media tends to create their own resolution to unsolved mysteries in order to reach closure within the public. As seen in a Time magazine article, David Van Biema shows us how familiar a monster can be in our lives. He wrote the article titled "A crime in the clan" in which a 25-year-old murder case concerning the Kennedy clan is revived. The author's depiction of the horrific crime scene and creation of the monster in a typical pulp fiction structure can be related to Ingebretsen's article titled "Monster-Making: A politics of persuasion." Like Ingebretsen, Biema uses scandal, pulp fiction metaphors, and classic movie monster making, such as the formulaic character creation, to exaggerate a crime scene placing Michael Skakel as a prime suspects in a case with no physical evidence. What initially introduces us to the monster is the public scandal as in the case of the books published concerning the murder of Martha Moxley. ...read more.

Middle

Not only does Biema 'bend the truth,' but he also invokes his opinion by connecting Michael Skakel, the suspect, with the murder weapon. Connections are made between the crime scene and the suspect that are clear indications of a typical suspense/horror novel. 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.' ...read more.

Conclusion

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. ...read more.

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