Female monsters: horror, the “femme fatale” and World War II

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The article is an examination of critical reception of the figure of the female monster as it emerged from the horror film during World War II, and it seeks to analyse discourses through which this figure was understood during the period of their initial release. In the process, the article demonstrates that the figure currently referred to as the femme fatale was not understood as a coherent or unified phenomenon in the period, and that it did not develop as part of a reaction against the working women of wartime. On the contrary, the essay demonstrates the ways in which the female monster developed around the start of the war and the way in which she was both identified with the figure of slacker and often overtly opposed to the figure of the independent woman of wartime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of American Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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