Student Number Disproving Monsters Brian Regal’s article, entitled Where Have all the Werewolves Gone?, discusses Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and its implications and outcomes in a very interesting manner: he used monsters, like werewolves, to explain his subject matter…
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The article is well-written, thorough, vivid, and easy to follow or understand. The author successfully conveys the evolution of people’s beliefs about monsters and how scientists, especially naturalists, tried to prove that monsters are not real, or merely products of a restless imagination. This essay evaluates the article in terms of content and purpose. The article is divided into three subtopics—The Slow Death of the Wolfman, Missing Links, and From Apes to Ape Men. As far back as 2,000 B.C., the idea of a werewolf has already existed. During the ancient period, images of monsters filled the imaginations of ordinary folks; many assumed that prehistory was characterized by a frightening environment of alive distorted body parts, moving around and joining together to form strange hybrids. No one during Darwin’s time believed in such an idea, but it was completely rational to look at the mysteries of the production of species—evolution or transmutation. Eventually monsters have been regarded probable links to the evolution of new species (Amigoni 36). If monsters were mutations or departures from the normal, then perhaps they were the answer to the question of species differences. This is the main point of the article. In terms of content, the article is clear-cut and explanatory, but not in a tedious, dull way. Although the author talks about a subject matter that is scientific, technical, and formal, he is able to keep the discussion appealing and fascinating by making his descriptions vivid or graphic. For instance, he describes how evolutionists of the 19th century look at the idea of monsters in this way (Regal 2): Others, though unwilling to accept mermaids, argued that even more wondrous creatures existed as a result of evolution. Archaeopteryx, for example, no less fantastic than a hippogriff, existed in the fossil record. The dinosaurs and long-necked plesiosaurs bestrode the land and swam the seas just as majestically as anything from Greek mythology. The above statement talks about the scientifically proven existence of prehistoric creatures, like dinosaurs, in a way that is not too technical or difficult to understand; instead the author uses vivid and imaginative descriptions of these prehistoric monsters. Another example is this one (Regal 4): Starting off as bestial, dim-witted brutes, the Neanderthals experienced a reversal of fortune. No longer fiends to be feared, they transformed into 1960s-style flower children, in tune with their environment, to be admired and even emulated. Like the monstrous races and apes before them, the ape-man’s initial fearsomeness began to evaporate. The author clearly explains here how the Neanderthal’s image as a fearsome creature changed into something more positive or encouraging. His descriptions are not verbose, but concise, and still, he is able to explain this transformation of the Neanderthal in a very interesting way by using a literary style of depiction. Hence, instead of explaining an otherwise mind-numbing and scientific evolution of the image of Neanderthal, the author describes them as though they are part of a legend or a myth, and this effectively catches the attention of his readers. The author also uses exact evidence to support his statements. The information given is not merely based on anecdotal, subjective information, or on personal interpretation. The author objectively provides an account of how the
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