People are afraid of monsters, both fantastical and real. We are taught to fear them from a young age, to tread carefully in case the boogeyman is about, or to be wary of a certain individual in the neighborhood because of a bad reputation. But what if those legends and those risks weren’t there? What if the angels we depend upon and the happy endings that we’re told were all there were?
That sounds incredibly boring, not to mention much danger than admitting to and recognizing the need for true monsters in the world. You might think I’m a bit off my rocker, especially since very human monsters tend to be among the most dangerous, but without these malevolent individuals within our midst, humanity becomes rather complacent in their assumed safety. We don’t want the monster at our door, but we surely don’t seem to mind deriding them when they’re at a safe distance.
In life, monsters of all sorts are useful as cautionary tales, myths told to children to make them behave. As we get older and learn the truth behind the myths we also learn the reality that human beings are often far more monstrous to one another than any legend that’s ever been told. We are this time the only species that continually seeks its own demise for no better reason than the thrill, the desire to simply kill and gain some measure of excitement from it.
Monsters are necessary because they remind us that life is not an easy trek from one point to the next, but a maze that’s meant to be traversed in a careful and cautious manner. Monsters remind us of the faults we have as human beings, and the very real idea that there is not one among us that is perfect.
Monsters are needed to remind us of our humanity, and how truly fragile it is.