Analysis Of The Book ' Candyman ' By Bernard Rose Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' Candyman ' By Bernard Rose Essay

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Candyman (1992) directed by Bernard Rose tells the story of a graduate student whose research on urban legends becomes reality and consumes and threatens her life. The viewer of this film is not able to reconcile whether Helen Lyle, the graduate student, or Candyman is the perpetrator of the kidnapping of baby Anthony McCoy, the murder of Helen’s friend and fellow graduate student Bernadette Walsh, or the brutal gutting of Helen’s psychiatrist. Is Candyman real or a figment of Helen’s obsessive research and interest in the legend? This uncertainty roots this film in “the fantastic,” a phenomenon discussed by French theorist, Tzvetan Todorov. Todorov declares “the fantastic” to hinge on “the reader’s hesitation.” In other words, when the viewer has “nearly reached the point of believing” but hesitates, that is when a story becomes fantastic (Todorov 31). This paper will discuss hesitation within the film Candyman. The film’s greatest linchpin to “the fantastic” is the indefinability of Candyman’s monstrosity. Rose’s “monster” defies categorization throughout the film and the viewer’s hesitation to define Candyman is Rose’s attempt to keep his film rooted in “the fantastic”.
Jeffrey Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” asserts that “The Monster Is the Harbinger of Category Crisis” (6). Cohen continues to define this phrase, asserting, “This refusal to participate in the classificatory ‘order of things’ is true of monsters generally: they are disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration. And so the " is dangerous, a form suspended between forms that threatens to smash distinctions” (6). In other words, the “monster” cannot be comfortably categoriz...


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...She values education, as indicated by her dedication to her Master’s thesis. She presents herself and her middle class status through her clothing, cleanliness, and diction. Her class is highlighted when Helen and Bernadette enter Cabrini Green. In the car, Bernadette double checks her arsenal in her purse, her mace and pepper spray, which Helen teases her about and condemns. She is undoubtedly more familiar with the realities of living in Cabrini Green. Electing to “dress conservatively,” and perhaps because of her association with Helen, causes the men of Cabrini Green to automatically assume Bernadette’s difference from them. This difference is rooted in class. Moreover, Bernadette avoids the area and hesitates to enter when Helen demands they study Ruthie Jean’s disappearance. Her mental and physical separation from Cabrini Green is a result of her class.

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