The Instigator
YewRose19298
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
2-D
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The single most defining quality of a legendary monster is corrupt humanity.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
2-D
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,010 times Debate No: 45804
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

YewRose19298

Pro

Bright red eyes, pale green skin, or other horrifying attributes seem to be at the front of a long line of fears. What is it about these things that make them so horrifying? What is it about a vampire, a giant, or a disfigured silhouette that makes the skin crawl? All of the previous examples show some sort of human characteristic, red eyes are still eyes, and green skin is still skin. It is the human yet still inhuman combination that strikes fear into man's heart. The single most defining quality of a legendary monster is corrupted humanity.

The more the human characteristics stand out, the more legendary a monster is. Vampires, for example, can have the appearance of a normal person, but they are not even alive. Dracula, from the book Dracula, by Bram Stoker, can walk "through the crowded streets of [the] mighty London(stoker)," and not be noticed as a monster. He can "be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity... share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is" (Stoker). Dracula has the ability to blend in and have human experiences in the day, but by night he is a monster who drinks the blood of the humans he pretends to be. Dracula can appear almost completely human, but is in truth is a monster, and that is what makes him a legendary monster.

The monster from Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, also had a piece of humanity. Like humans "his soul glowed with love and humanity" (Shelly). If it were not for his horrifying characteristics he could live among humans, but his corrupt figure ruined any chance the monster had to live his life like a normal person. These characteristics push out the human qualities, like love and understanding, that he could have had, had he not have had corrupt characteristics. When the monster comes to the old blind man he is accepted because his figure is not seen, however, once his inhuman characteristics are revealed he is chased away. He was "a miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity" (Shelly), and this is what frightened people and made him a legendary monster.

These are just some examples of monsters that are legendary because of their human characteristics. Something about the fact that monsters can be somewhat like themselves scares humans out of their minds.

Resources

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Library, 1996. Print.

Shelly, Mary W.. Frankenstien. Milwaukee: Raintree Publishers, 1981. Print.
2-D

Con


The major problem I have with this resolution is that it makes a generalized statement about legendary monsters that is very difficult to justify. As Pro Clarified the resolution in the opening round she went on to suggest that the corrupted humanity was the source of the fear and pivotal to the monster horror genre. I will agree that corrupted humanity is a major theme but not that this is the overriding or necessary defining characteristic.


I grabbed these definitions from Google:


Monster: an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.


Legendary: remarkable enough to be famous; very well known.


I think it’s fair to say the debate is about famous or iconic creatures from the horror genre.


Many iconic monsters are not a corrupted version of humanity at all.


These include Godzilla, King Kong, The Blob, the creatures in aliens and gremlins to name a few [1]. Pro has set up a position that corrupted humanity is necessary for a compelling monster and the major inspiration for fear. Of the 15 iconic monsters listed at Hollywood reporter more than half were not corrupted versions of humanity. Although it is a common theme corrupted humanity certainly does not define the genre.


Corrupted humanity is not the source of fear.


In a monster movie we really just want a good scare. Pro focuses on corrupted humanity, as the main device in the monster category but this is not really at the heart of it. What inspires terror in fiction is the same as the rest of life.


It’s not rocket science, monsters are scary because they are dangerous. Sometimes the threat of Godzilla stepping on you face is just as terrifying as a corrupted werewolf bite and, in general, people are prone to many phobias that are often triggered by a threat of physical danger [2]. Other common fears are associated with survival, which gets mighty difficult in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.


Fear of the unknown is another major fear that the Stephen Kings and H.P. Lovecrafts of the world can play on. While the resolution focuses on the corruption of the familiar something completely foreign to our experience is often more terrifying. Alien and The Thing both made it to the top 5 out of a list of the 50 top monster movies on timeout.com [3]. These monsters are completely foreign and do not represent a corruption of humanity. We may be afraid of the corrupted humanity of Frankenstein and the fly but they are extremely terrifying because they are so different from the familiar.


Uncertainty and unpredictability are also a major inspiration for fear [2]. When King Kong is swatting planes out of the sky a delayed flight is the least of your worries. When Godzilla strikes or a zombie apocalypse sweeps across the country your life and plans for the future are thrown into chaos.


Corrupted humanity alone is just not enough for a monster to inspire fear.


There are many defining qualities of monsters that are effective horror devices.


“The single most defining quality of a legendary monster is corrupted humanity.”


In making statements like this Pro has really talked herself into a corner. Colossal power or danger is often a defining characteristic and the source of fear whether it is just from one monster, Godzilla/King Kong, or only when they group together such as gremlins.


I mentioned the frequent threat of danger used to inspire fear and it is often a defining characteristic more important than corruption. A corrupted corpse that is alive is gross but a zombie will bite your face off!


Complete and utter mystery can be used as a defining characteristic that capitalizes off of our natural fear of the unknown. This is seen in monster movies that use a lot of tension and suspense and the threat is largely mysterious and unknown.


Corrupted humanity itself isn’t that scary but when it spreads this can define a genre. Zombies, vampires and werewolves all have the potential to spread the corruption to you or your family. The spread of this corruption, as opposed to the corruption itself, is often a defining quality of a monster.


-


I have been able to show that many iconic monsters are not in any way a corrupted version of humanity so this cannot be a defining quality of a monster. In addition, fear is normally a defining quality of the genre and there are many options to inspire fear. There are many defining qualities that can work for monster fiction and focusing on a single quality does not define the genre.



[1] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com...


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3] http://www.timeout.com...


Debate Round No. 1
YewRose19298

Pro

I do appreciate your argument as it had many good points. However, it is not the Horror movie genre that this debate is about. This debate is about what the MOST defining quality of a monster is. whether it is a monster from a book, a movie, or anything else that tells the story of a monster. You mentioned many monsters without human characteristics that you say are legendary. You call them legendary because a Hollywood reporter called them legendary, but as I said before this debate is not just about movies. It can be taken into account that the books that have been written about monsters is vast, and the books who's popularity lasted decades and even centuries are the ones that highlight monsters with human characteristics the most. While these old movies are rarely watched these days. The following are famous monster books and when they were published.
Dracula - 1897 (1)
Frankenstein - 1818 (2)
The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - 1886 (3)
Salem's Lot - 1975 (4)

Yes, it is true that corrupt humanity is not the only thing that makes a legendary monster. Someone cannot just come up with a monster with human characteristics and call it legendary. However, it is the most defining characteristic. It is a horrifying idea that monsters could reside among us. Monsters that we are not aware of such as vampires or were wolfs. I asked some people what kind of monsters they find legendary. Some mentioned ones like Bigfoot or the Lockness monster while others said Frankenstein or the boogie man. I asked those who mentioned monsters like Lockness and Bigfoot what they thought about Dracula and Frankenstein, and they said, "I didn't know we were talking about like people monsters". I then asked them who they thought was scarier, and they answered Dracula and Frankenstein. "People monster" are scarier not because they make you jump or scream at the look of their face, but because they make your skin crawl. These monsters reside at the back of the mind. They are remembered by all and feared by all because they are a reminder of what humanity really is. They remind people that they are steps away from being monsters themselves and that anyone they meet could already be one.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an example of exactly this. Dr. Jekyll spends his time doing the good things that make him feel good, like giving to charities (5). While Mr. Hyde is in fact doing the exact apposite. They are the same person, and it is Dr. Jekyll himself, the least likely person, who is the monster. One of the main characters best friends. This idea of the fact that anyone could be a monster is one of the things that keeps the story about a monster around and makes it legendary.

Also, since my author noted a resource about the top monster movies I will note one about the top monster books of which the top eight include many of my own examples (6). In my opponents resource the top eight also were of monsters with human characteristics.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...'Salem's_Lot (May have to type Salem's Lot in the search bar, because this link messes up.)
5. Shelly, Mary W.. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
6. http://www.goodreads.com...
2-D

Con

Many iconic monsters are not a corrupted version of humanity at all.

“This debate is about what the MOST defining quality of a monster is.”

I agree with you but you are referencing the monster horror genre to back up your case and so am I. I have offered other options for defining characteristics. Monsters are all very different and dangerous for example. When they are very similar to people on the surface or are a corrupted version that highlights the difference but you are focusing on the similarities.

H.P. Lovecraft had a major impact on the genre [4] and was quoted as saying, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” It’s not that monsters are like us but often that they are so very different that makes us afraid.

I should clarify that Hollywoodreporter.com is a popular website that I referenced and not a single reporter.


There are many defining qualities of monsters that are effective horror devices.

“Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even (as in the case of fiction) length. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups [6].” Your most defining quality is too narrow because it excludes many examples.

A genre is defined ultimately by popular opinion, I guess, but with an objective look at monster fiction we both agree that many legendary examples do not include corrupted humanity. That the majority of your friends agree that one subcategory of monster fiction is the best (those including corrupted humanity) does not define the category. It just tells us that you and your friends enjoyed Dracula more than Jaws. Personally, I find Lovecrafts bizarre otherworldly monsters and the unknown to be completely terrifying but that’s just my opinion.

“They remind people that they are steps away from being monsters themselves and that anyone they meet could already be one.”
Lol, write some monster fiction; that is a disturbing thought for sure. I think you are referencing a beast within kind of idea and not a corrupted version of humanity.

There are many defining qualities of monsters that are effective horror devices.


“This idea of the fact that anyone could be a monster is one of the things that keeps the story about a monster around and makes it legendary.”
I in your referenced list of the top monster horror books counted 8 books in the top twenty that do not use corrupted humanity as a theme or characteristic (2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20).

Corrupted humanity is not the key defining characteristic in the majority of cases.

Your resolution defines legendary monsters. Any defining characteristic should at least include the vast majority with very few exceptions. Arguably all monsters should have the characteristic since you referenced monsters in general. Merriam Webser defines define as, “to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of <whatever defines us as human>”

You see the qualities that define something must be essential/necessary. This is emphasized when you say you have found the most defining quality. This is why I am pointing to qualities like dangerous or different. These are common to all legendary monsters while corrupted humanity is not.


There are many qualities that describe various legendary monsters in a more general way and apparently these are common themes in the horror genre [7]. The top three, listed in my source, are that many monsters bring certain death, can cause intense pain as in a torturer or control your life. These are also the three unforgivable curses in Harry Potter proving that J. K. Rowling was a badass writer [8]. Avada Kedavra caused instant unavoidable death, Crucio intense pain and Imperio made you a puppet.

It is not so much that Frankenstein was a corrupted version of humanity that made the character compelling as the responsibility he represents for an experiment gone incredibly wrong [7]. His defining characteristic may be that he was a man-made monster. They flew to close to the sun and got burned for it. Werewolves along with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are better defined as an outward example of what readers see as the beast within. Vampires could be better defined as a camouflaged efficient predator not a corrupted person.

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[7] http://www.everydayfiction.com...

[8] http://harrypotter.wikia.com...

[9] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Debate Round No. 2
YewRose19298

Pro

When someone wants to make a monster they will often go to nature. Man vs nature has always been exciting. Jaws, king kong, and the Lockness monster are some examples of this. However, these monsters loose their effect quickly. What do they do to enhance this effect? They give them human qualities. For example, KING KONG HAD A GIRLFRIEND. This gives the monster a human quality.
The monster from Frankenstein had a similar human quality. Which brings me to this.

"It is not so much that Frankenstein was a corrupted version of humanity that made the character compelling as the responsibility he represents for an experiment gone incredibly wrong [7]. His defining characteristic may be that he was a man-made monster. "

The monster from Frankenstein is not necessarily Frankenstein. Yes, Frankenstein may be seen as a monster for creating the monster, but he is not The Monster. If it had been left at this I may overlook it as a small mistake, however this is not were it ended.

"Werewolves along with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are better defined as an outward example of what readers see as the beast within."

If you have not read the story or do not even know what it is about I rather you not argue like you do. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is no Werewolf story. The beast inside is not a werewolf.
How can you claim what you have claimed when you do not know of what you are talking about. It is not a problem if you have not read the books, but to make claims biased off of these books gives you no leverage. It makes me wonder if you have much knowledge on any of the monsters you have given examples of.

"Vampires could be better defined as a camouflaged efficient predator not a corrupted person."

Vampires look like humans, talk like humans, in Dracula, Dracula almost seemed to long to be human. How can non of these be seen as human characteristics. How can it not be corrupt humanity. A vampire is a dead human who longs for blood. Such like a zombie who longs for human flesh is still corrupt humanity so is a vampire. They just hide their corrupted features. In fact this may make them the most terrifying.

Corrupted Humanity is the MOST defining quality in a legendary monster. Corrupted humanity is a lie, a mask that the monsters put on to hide their inhumanity. "Lying monsters are a real nuisance: they are much more cunning than [other monsters]. They pose as humans even though they have no understanding of the human heart... they seek friendship even though they do not know how to love... [If someone] were to encounter such a monster [they] would likely be eaten by them, because in truth [they] are that monster (Death)". You say Vampires are no sort of corrupted humanity. Yet they may be the worst. You say The Monster in Frankenstein is not defined by corrupt humanity, yet you don't even know who The Monster is. You even say Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are not defined by corrupt humanity, yet you have not read that book either. Even if you had not mentioned them being werewolves, Mr. Hyde is in fact a corrupt version of a person themselves, Dr. Jekyll. Literally HE IS DR. JEKYLL.
Corrupt humanity is the MOST defining quality In a legendary monster. Not the only, but the MOST.
I would like to thank you for excepting this debate, and rest my case.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Library, 1996. Print.
Shelly, Mary W.. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Shelly, Mary W.. Frankenstien. Milwaukee: Raintree Publishers, 1981. Print.
Death Note: Relight, vol. 2. Dir. Tsugumi OM2;ba. Viz Media ;, 2009. Film.
2-D

Con


Many iconic monsters are not a corrupted version of humanity at all.


I have been able to establish this and sources we both have provided have listed many legendary monsters that are not a corrupted form of humanity. H.P. Lovecraft’s horrific otherworldly monsters had a profound impact on the horror genre [4].


Other examples we have listed are jaws, Godzilla, King Kong, The Blob, Alien and the thing. The list goes on and on. Even in cases where there are corrupt monsters this often does not represent the ‘most defining’ characteristic of the monster at all and this is often a matter of opinion.


Defining Legendary Monster


Corrupted humanity should not be used to define legendary monsters because all legendary monsters do not share this characteristic. The whole purpose of a definition is to list the essential or necessary characteristics of the defined term. Pro did not dispute this point. Many legendary monsters do not have this quality so it cannot be a defining quality.


-


Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is no Werewolf story.”


I’m familiar with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and I understand that they he/they are not werewolves, lol. I agree that he/they could be characterized as corrupted humanity but I disagree that you have established that this is the ‘most defining’ quality. To clarify I was saying that both stories are about the ‘beast within’ or the monster inside of us.


When a werewolf or Hyde does something horrific we see ourselves. Monsters are often scary because we have something in common with us not a corrupted version just the worst aspects of humanity. Both Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde along with Werewolf stories use this as a device. These stories point to a dark side inside humanity.


It is likely that the most defining quality is that they represent the dark part of humanity [7]. It is the evil we are all capable of that define these monsters more than corrupted humanity. Pro alluded to this when she said, “They remind people that they are steps away from being monsters themselves and that anyone they meet could already be one.”


Man vs Nature


I agree that this is a common theme and many legendary monsters rely on this. I don’t see how corrupted humanity would be a necessary quality at all with the monsters you mentioned. That King Kong developed a connection with some girl does not establish that corrupted humanity was a defining quality of King Kong.


Vampires, Frankenstein and Zombies (oh my)


That vampires and other legendary monsters have human characteristics does not really address the resolution. I agree that all of these monsters could be characterized as a corrupt form of humanity but not that you have established that this is the ‘most defining’ quality. I have pointed out that this is often a matter of opinion and certainly does not define legendary monsters in general. The fact that vampires are effectively camouflaged and predatory is a more important quality in defining them above their corrupted humanity [7].


I think I did read Frankenstein at one point and am definitely familiar with the popular meme. If you’re not aware, in popular culture Frankenstein’s Monster is often abbreviated to Frankenstein naming it after it’s creator [9]. The defining characteristic of Frankenstein may well be that he was created by science as the source I referenced indicates [7]. That Frankenstein’s Monster was man made is a prominent defining quality.


I agreed that corrupted humanity is a common theme and is perhaps the most defining characteristic of some legendary monsters specifically, Zombies for instance. However, even this is debatable. That zombies are predatory and spread a deadly disease a violent way is a very important quality to mention when defining them. They just wouldn’t be zombies if they did not eat people. That corrupt humanity is the most defining characteristic is just your opinion and certainly this definitive quality cannot be applied to a large portion of legendary monsters.


I think I did also read the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde novella at one point and I read Internet summaries to get a refresher on the monsters we discussed. I did not appreciate the assertion that I did not read these books (it’s not relevant if I did not) and using this to question my arguments overall. It is simple to point out any assumed errors directly.


-


Overall, I think Pro’s resolution was just too broad. You cannot assert that you have found the ‘most defining’ quality legendary of monsters when many legendary monsters do not have this quality. Even the legendary monsters Pro focused on have other qualities that are arguably more important defining qualities, which I have pointed out.


[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...


Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
No. But I respect your tenacity; you'll make a great debater. I pretty much paraphrased my comment from round three and drew attention to an argument that I phrased in a few ways. Tell you what, I like your debate grit so I'll limit what I say to quotes from the debate and an encouragement to reevaluate the debate.

I think you have raised a fair point and there is discussion on this issue on the site but you have not changed my mind. You could make 'no comments to voters' a requirement for accepting your next debate but you can't really apply in debate rules to comments so, I'm not sure what I'd do from your perspective.
Posted by YewRose19298 3 years ago
YewRose19298
"One of my strongest points was that any defining quality of a legendary monster must be a essential qualities. This is right in the definition of define I provided and Pro did not even address this argument. A quality cannot be essential/necessary if it is not included in a large portion of legendary monsters."
This is more then encouraging a voter to look back over unbiasly. But I see we are getting no were with this argument so I am just asking you for my piece of mind to not post any more arguements or "encouragements" until after voting period.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Personally, I do not have a problem posting a comment like I did below challenging a vote and I think its improves and adds accountability to the voting process. I do not bother anyone but I do not mind asking someone to take a second look at their vote if I notice a specific issue.

I disagree that challenging a vote is continuing the debate in the comments. It is simply asking a voter to reconsider the debate arguments. If they refuse that is their prerogative. I avoid raising a new argument in the comments but at the same time voters should all learn to ignore any arguments raised in the comments when voting.

It is the same struggle as trying to ignore bias or outside opinions and vote based on the stated arguments. We can't disable the internet and prevent voters from knowing outside information that would sway them to vote for one side or the other.
Posted by YewRose19298 3 years ago
YewRose19298
Whether it is realized or not, extra comments by those who participated in the debate can contribute to the decisions of the readers. Even if someone is just clarifying their points. It may get them to reread the debate, but the point is to win readers over in the allotted amount of rounds. Consider all aspects that have to do with the people reading including the fact that they may just skim it once. To me these debates are competitions. Competitions about who can wright and argue good debates. Though I do not think you meant ill by it, I do not believe further debating should be done till after voting.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
I agree that arguments in the comments should be disregarded by voters in weighing their decision. I do think that it is appropriate to present a reason to encourage a voter to reread the debate and focus on the arguments stated in the debate. In fact, I would encourage comments like this.
Posted by YewRose19298 3 years ago
YewRose19298
The debate was 3 rounds any further arguments by competitors should wait till after voting period.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Ameliamk1, thanks for voting! I strongly disagree that this argument was over the personal opinion of the voters and it should boil down to the arguments. One of my strongest points was that any defining quality of a legendary monster must be a essential qualities. This is right in the definition of define I provided and Pro did not even address this argument. A quality cannot be essential/necessary if it is not included in a large portion of legendary monsters.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
YewRose192982-DTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: After re-reading the debate, I must conclude that Pro did not make the points I had credited him with in my previous vote. Pro did not once mention zombies and aliens, and Con provided many examples of monsters not possessing human qualities. I let my opinion cloud my judgement, and I apologize to Con.