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Popular Culture - Essay Example

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Introduction Vampires have been a part of popular culture lore for centuries. These blood-thirsty creatures are the embodiment of feelings that we all have inside, and feelings that were felt by French society in the French Revolution. Just as the French peasants and noblemen and women felt a desperation – the peasants because of the desperate economic situation they were in, and the noblemen because of the eventual events that caused many of them to be be-headed – vampires reflect desperation…
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Popular Culture

The novel Twilight, with its central romance between a vampire and an ordinary teenage girl, also brings these emotions and feelings to the fore, as the lovers feel desperation, torture, the burn of forbidden love, as well as the pain of immortality and the loss of reason. Through it all, the vampires in vampire lore, and Edward in Twilight reflect societal consciousness, while assisting society in accepting that sometimes that which might seem evil is not really. Discussion The French Revolution was a period of despair, tortured beings, and forbidden loves. The desperation was felt by the peasants on the eve of the French Revolution, in 1789, as the peasants in the French countryside was increasingly subjected to undue taxation and social polarisation became a rising problem. At some point, the French peasants were faced with the choices of moving off their land or rebelling, due to a tax system that had lost all semblance of rhyme and reason.1 Meanwhile, they suffered a harvest deficit, and some farmers saw their livelihood wiped out during the harsh winters. The food deficit, the long winter, the social polarisation and increased taxation of the peasants led to an increase in vagrancy and vagabondage, as “desperate hordes besieged monastic storehouses.”2 Moreover, this sense of desperation was not limited to the peasants, as the laborers and managers also felt the financial pinch, “having to juggle their resources in order to make ends meet.”3 Meanwhile, the tortured beings were represented most effectively in the French Revolution by the prisoners in the Bastille, the storming of which was one of the cataclysms for the Revolution. Of these is the infamous “man in the iron mask,” who lived in the Bastille from 1698 to 1703. Also, there was the case of Denyse Regne, who “was spared nothing, from endless interrogations and torments of hunger to injuries inflicted by doctors to torturous treatment at the hands of a nun lodged with her and her enchainment in an underground dungeon.”4 The cells of the Bastille were places where toad, newts and rats and spiders resided with the unfortunate prisoner, and the prisoner lay on straw for their bed in six by eight foot cages.5 During the French Revolution, as during all times, there was also forbidden love. Such as example is Honore Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, who was a moderate French Revolutionary. He won the heart of a lady who was the consort of a colonel, which caused him to be imprisoned. Released from prison, he went to Corsica, where he engaged in yet another scandalous love affair.6 While this was one individual who engaged in forbidden love affairs during the time of the French Revolution, there undoubtedly were many more. Therefore, the French Revolution was a time of desperation, torture and forbidden love. The vampire is emblematic of all of these feelings, as well as being a symbol of destructive power and abstract horror, that invades our imaginations and sensibilities. As a symbol of desperation, however, the vampire perhaps has more in common with the desperate French nobility during the time of the French Revolution, such as the Princesse de Monaco, a noblewoman of the house of Choiseul-Stainville who died at the guillotine in 1794.7 This is because the vampire is often the ... Read More
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Popular culture
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