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The role of female sexuality within the film The Exorcist Essay Example

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The role of female sexuality within the film The Exorcist

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The role of female sexuality within the film The Exorcist. Even more so, the female sexual identity is often the target of horror films as they are most often associated with misogynist aesthetics that are filled with the sense of mystery and fear that is associated with female sexual development. According to Davies; “Horror films sexualize violence, celebrate graphic and sadistic violence against women, and punish female sexuality”. Women are objectified to the point that their pain, right to life, and right to express them is reduced to the gory rendering of their physical body without regard to their humanity. The extension of this objectification culminates until it results in “rendering men as active agents who control and dominate women as passive victims subject to male power”.

The monster and the female both represent a sense of the ’other’; therefore they must be controlled and dominated because they both represent a threat to the male heterosexual sense of normalcy. Monsters can take on the form of either a fusion figure or a fission figure. The fission figure is exemplified by a character that travels in and out of a state of being a monster, exampled by the werewolf or the alien creature found in The Thing (1982). The fusion figure, on the other hand, will “combine contradictory elements in an unambiguous identity”, embodying the self and the ‘other’ in one entity. In The Exorcist (1973), the identity of the little girl is fused with the demon that has possessed her. She becomes socially inappropriate, committing acts that are blatantly associated with sexuality, but are considered foul and well outside of ’polite’ behavior. Her identity is fused into the being that has taken over her body, her actions not familiar with the girl that is known to her mother as Regan.The links between the feminine and monstrosity is further explored as Regan is an extension of her mother’s own feelings of frustration. According to Magistrale, “Regan’s demonic possession embodies all of the profane rage that the mother feels towards the absent husband-father. Beyond the exploration of the sexuality of the changes that occur in puberty, the possession represents social alienation, religious skepticism, and marital divorce. The role of female sexuality within the film The Exorcist.

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