Horror: A study on Cliver Barker part 14, Rawhead Rex.
Welcome to part 14 of my study on Clive Baker. Today we will be looking at Rawhead Rex, a monster story.
Summary: In the small town of Zeal, England, a farmer removes large stone on his land (which his father had warned him not to do) and releases a monster that was buried under it (Rawhead Rex). Rawhead Rex goes on a rampage killing families and eating children. The MC Ron, whose son is eaten by Rawhead Rex, searches for a way to defeat the rampaging monster. He learns from the town's priest that there is something in the church that Rawhead Rex is afraid of and goes in to search for it. He discovers a statue of a pregnant woman, and when he shows it to Rawhead, the monster freezes in fear. The story ends with a town mob attacking Rawhead, killing him.
A study of the Monster: It is often suggested that monsters in horror stories be an allegory for something, and Rawhead Rex is no exception. Rawhead Rex is meant to be an Allegory for men's fear of the woman's Menstrual cycle. This is revealed in Rawhead's fears, weaknesses, backstory, and even physical description. I am going to go point by point to prove this statement.
Physical description: Rawhead Rex is described as looking like a 9-foot tall phallus (erect penis) with teeth. This is a very masculine image and is pretty much as far as you can get from a monster looking like the female reproductive organs as possible.
Backstory: Rawhead Rex belongs to an ancient race of primordial beast-like men that once ruled the forest of England. Rawhead's race is an all male race, reproducing by raping women that they would capture. His race, however, was destroyed when the humans burned the forest to the ground in hopes of ridding the lands of these monsters. They ancient people captured Rawhead and buried him alive. The fact that his race was an All Male race goes even further into the mindset of how Rawhead has no real understanding of women or how they biologically work. There is some irony in the fact that the one thing Rawhead is afraid was the one thing needed for his race to flourish.
Weakness: "Rawhead stood and looked at the nape of Gwen Nicholson's neck, where a single nip would easily kill. But there was no way he could bring himself to touch this woman; not today. She had the blood cycle on her, he could taste its tang, and it sickened him." (Page 371)
From the above passage, we can see that Rawhead cannot kill or eat a woman who is on her cycle.
Fear: "To him the stone was the thing he feared most: the bleeding woman, her gaping hole eating seed and spitting children. It was life, that hole, that woman, it was endless fecundity. It terrified him." (page 406)
Again, we can see how terrified he is of the woman's menstrual cycle, a fear that results in his death. From the above evidence, we can see how the Allegory of men being afraid of the menstrual cycle is used in every aspect of this monster's design.
In conclusion, for us wanting to write Horror (or even fantasy with a monster in it), it is important to look at how we create our monsters and put real thought into our design. Monsters can have meaning behind them and it is up to us writers to create and give this meaning.
I hope you've enjoyed my look at Rawhead Rex. If you have any questions or thoughts please leave a comment or like!
Previous post: https://www.writingforums.org/entry/horror-a-study-on-cliver-barker-part-13-son-of-celluloid.63833/
Next post: https://www.writingforums.org/entry/horror-a-study-on-cliver-barker-part-15-confessions-of-a-shroud.63845/
jannert likes this.
You need to be logged in to comment