Creating Monsters
In your early reading this year you have seen that authors create both “real” monsters, such as Beowulf’s Grendel and sea monster, and “ordinary people” who behave in monstrous ways, as do several members of The Crucible‘s Puritan society.
While reading your next text (Frankenstein, Dracula, or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), you will consider several questions:

§ How and why do people create monsters for themselves?
§ How and why do people invite evil (monsters) into their lives?
§ Why do we fear monsters?
§ What motivates monsters to terrorize others?
§ Where does fear come from?
§ What are rational vs. irrational fears?
§ What do monster stories teach us?

Before we start our next books, you have a chance to generate something for us to fear—and perhaps teach us something.
Create your own monster: S/he can be a creature of fantasy whose very existence causes fright, or a real person who behaves in ways that creates fear and loathing. As you write, think of how you and your classmates have defined “monster” in your first essay and discussion. Make sure to include:

1. A physical description
2. A description of characteristics (What are the traits that cause this being to produce fear in others?)
3. An explanation of his/her monstrous motives (Why does he/she act as he/she does?)
4. An explanation of why others should fear your monster
5. An illustration (either analog –pen/paper, or digital—video, etc.)

You will present your monster to the class, so prepare. How will you convince us that this creature should cause us to feel terror?!