Monster fiction as we know it came into being in the early 1800s. A large volcano erupted in 1816, causing what has become known as the year without a summer. It was during this time that we got some of the best monster fiction creations. It was during that summer that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as part of a writing contest.
Most of the modern monster fiction we enjoy, whether in books or in film, can trace their roots back to the creations that summer in a writing contest held by Lord Byron. Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein, which was monumental in paving the way for later creations such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Todays monsters include zombies, vampires, werewolves, mummies, and more. It’s even opened the way for exploring the idea of a good monster.
No matter the genre within the monster fiction category, there are common themes that have become important elements of storytelling. At the core, these stories explore human psychology, the complexities of humanity, and the battle of good versus evil. Listen to this episode for more on what you can learn from studying the creation of monster fiction.
First aired September 23, 2021.
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