Love, Death and Transformation in Ginger Snaps

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Love, Death and Transformation in Ginger Snaps On the surface, Ginger Snaps can be easily dismissed by critics as a typical B-rated teen-turned-werewolf movie. What distinguishes this movie from other horror films, however, is its subversion of the traditional perspective of its genre. The transformation in the film is suffered by Ginger Fitzgerald, a sixteen-year-old girl. This lycanthropy coincides with Ginger's first menstrual period, making the subject matter metaphorical for the often fearful transition into the sexuality and identity formation of adulthood. Moreover, the relationship between Ginger and her sister Brigitte deteriorates in such a way that is also emblematic of the human psyche's conflicts. As their paths diverge in the film, each sister is confronted with the instincts of love and death or aggression; Eros and Thanatos in Freud's terms. The focus here will be to view these salient themes in Ginger Snaps through the lens of Freudian analysis. More specifically, this paper will analyze the psychical conflict due to complications of the instinct toward love or aggression, as represented in the metaphorical transition into adolescence and the relationship between the two sisters. The Sisters Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald share a close relationship that becomes challenged as the narrative progresses. Ginger, who is a year older, is the more dominant, while Brigitte takes a more subordinate role. Both girls are late bloomers, and in Freudian terms, their outlooks and relationship with one another can be seen as the result of an extension of their latency periods. The girls do not deal well with their transition into adolescence—they recognize the budding sexuality of their peers and are th... ... middle of paper ... ...emale sexuality or the "castration" undertones. Female viewers, on the other hand, could be angered by the characterization of female sexuality as being something monstrous and almost inhuman. This is the kind of response, however, that can bring into a dialogue contemporary society's prevailing notions of sexuality. BIBLIOGRAPHY Class Reader, Glossary. "Freud and the Literary Imagination." Compiled by Professor Richard Gray, 2006. Freud, Sigmund. The Ego and the Id. The Freud Reader. Ed. Peter Gay. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1989. Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents. The Freud Reader. Ed. Peter Gay. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1989. Ginger Snaps. Dir. John Fawcett. Story: Karen Walton & John Fawcett. Perf. Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle. Lions Gate International, 2000.
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