Dirk’s Theory of Origin of Monsters
Genre theory is a class of literature that categorizes it into different types, such as rhetoric, literary, and media theories (Chandler 2). It builds on the context or themes used, while the texts that share the same structure fall under one category. According to the dirk theory, genres connect to the situations that occur around people during interactions hence affecting their power to help, hurt or speak (Lowe, and Zemliansky 252). Social situations regularly happen due to the interactions between people. Therefore, it has a recurring characteristic of the participants, context, purpose, themes, forms of writing, and their responses. This feature is due to the occurrence of the same information communicated to the same audience and receiving a typical reaction within a long time. According to dirk, genre does consider not only the characteristics of a piece of writing but also the aim of writing a particular piece and the choice of the specific audience. In Ken Gelder’s in the horror reader, genre theory is evident in the convincing of the audience of the experiences with monsters. The existence of the monsters is recurring, following Dirk’s approach, along with the context at which the situation exists.
Dirk’s Theory in Gelder’s in the Horror Reader
In social situations, in the traditional society, people tend to believe in the existence of monsters in the community. With the information, individuals create a picture of how it looks like and interact with other people hence interchanging new ideas with various considerations. Gelder’s text, In the horror reader, explains the existence of the monsters, by giving experiences of the imagination and information that prove the existence of the monsters. This text is essential in traditional society, where there is the belief of living with monsters, which causes harm in their lives. At the beginning of the writing, it states, “Where do monsters come from?” (Gelder 84). In this statement, Gelder has already acknowledged the existence of monsters and now wishes to know their origin. As people may doubt the existence of monsters, the genre responds by accepting that they exist and explore the roots such as God or devils, stars, and parent anatomies. He attempts to explain the origin of both the monster creature and the name itself.
The genre attempts to convince the audience of the existence of monsters and educate on the various origins of monsters (Lestel 262). Dirk states that “…genres focus on the relationship between the makers and audience of the text.” (Chandler 5). This quote is the rhetoric dimension where information with no proof may apply, to create the effect required on the audience. For example, the Rhetoric genre is used in the text to explain the origin of monsters. It is described as not having some structure such as hands but is characterized by strange appearances (Kearney 26). The imagination tied to the creatures were scary and mythical considering real lives. As writers attempted to write the concepts on monsters, the connection between visions and resemblance tend to change. The offspring of a creature should look like them. However, in this case, the beings are differentiated, Gelder uses Aristotle’s book, stating that, “Anyone who does not take from his parents is really a monstrosity…” (Gedler 85). This statement meant that the offspring produced by the creatures and do not look like the parents are monsters. This case determines the truth of the existence of monsters through rhetoric, whereby the author uses Aristotle’s words to persuade, but the information has no sincerity or proof.
In support of the existence of monsters Richard Kearney Terror, in the book philosophy and the sublime, provides proof to the origin of monsters through the exhibits in museums. Previously, monsters were attached to congenital mutants and giants, but as developments occurred, the imaginary concept kept increasing (Kearney 27). More monster ideas, with animal characteristics and less or displaced human limbs, kept growing. These ideas recurred, leading to exhibitions that mix both human and animal features to create a scary creature that is unreal and unrealistic. Dirk’s idea of recurring concepts is evident in this and also the use of rhetoric genre through information with no proof of the imaginations created by people, but applied to persuade people that monsters genuinely exist (Dirk 251). There is fiction genre, creation of alternative realities other than the current belief, and people are forced to embrace and believe them too.
Genre theory characterizes literature into various categories, each having similar characteristics. Dirk recognizes the genre theory but introduces the context of form in social action. The theory ties with the existence of monsters that keep developing through imaginations and improve their characteristics. This factor keeps recurring by each author as more features rise, using both animal and human features. Gelder, in the horror reader, explains the origin of monsters using Dirks theory genre, to persuade its audience on the existence of monsters. The readers may easily believe in the monsters and create imaginations every time they see a new creature.
Chandler, Daniel. “An Introduction To Genre Theory”. Research Gate, 1997, p. 2., Accessed 8 Feb 2020.
Dirk, Kerry. “Navigating Genres”. Writing Spaces: Readings On Writing,, vol 1, 2010, p. 251., Accessed 8 Feb 2020.
Gelder, Ken. The Horror Reader. Routledge, 2002, p. 84.
Kearney, Richard. “Terror, Philosophy And The Sublime”. Philosophy & Social Criticism, vol 29, no. 1, 2003, p. 26. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/0191453703029001831.
Lestel, Dominique. “Why Are We So Fond Of Monsters?”. Comparative Critical Studies, vol 9, no. 3, 2012, pp. 259-269. Edinburgh University Press, doi:10.3366/ccs.2012.0062. Accessed 8 Feb 2020.
Lowe, Charles, and Pavel Zemliansky. Writing Spaces. Library Of Congress, 2010, p. 252.