Analysis Of American Horror Story: Murder House

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You flip on the blank screen and find yourself glued to the images being displayed. Gruesome inhuman creatures, ominous pools of blood, and half-blurry images of the dead flash before your eyes, complete with a chainsaw-like sound that permeates the silence of your living room. If it seems like the images above are straight out of a gory horror flick, you are partially correct. In fact, they are featured in the title sequence of the popular television show American Horror Story. First aired in 2011 on FX, this anthology series plays on common and often romanticized fears, from murderous clowns to sexy undead serial killers. The program is produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the creators of other successful shows such as Glee and Nip/Tuck. …show more content…
In the pilot episode, the first glimpse viewers get of father and psychologist Ben Harmon is when his wife catches him having an affair. Following this, he moves away with his wife Vivien and daughter Violet, an action which symbolizes the American ideal of “starting over” after trouble rather than confronting the issue. Ben and Vivien continue to fight because their problems are caused by distrust, rather than location (Falchuk, Brad, and Ryan Murphy. "Pilot." American Horror Story: Murder House. FX. 5 Oct. 2011. Television). Also vividly depicted are the ways in which Ben’s infidelity affects Violet. According to psychologist Don-David Lusterman, “children may unconsciously react to their parents’ increased anxiety, conflict, sadness, or anger by becoming irritable, oppositional, or whiny” when infidelity of a parent is revealed (Thorson, 42). Violet accurately portrays this kind of behavior by emphasizing how much she “hates” everyone and acting defensively in conversation. Ben’s actions affect the entire family dynamic, creating a blanket of tension and mistrust that encompasses both his wife and …show more content…
Infidelity and estrangement of families are the more common instances of this decay of values. They bring distrust, tension, and show a blatant lack of responsibility to the affected family. The least common family dynamic presented, polygamy, still occurs in some religious sects today and often ends in jealousy and violence between spouses. The show uses its characters as mirror of American society, to make individuals aware of the realities hidden in fiction. Americans’ idea of “love” and what it means to be a part of a family is changing, and the result is not good. People are fulfilling less and less responsibilities in family roles and devaluing the importance of trust. And maybe, just maybe, American Horror Story can frighten Americans into reconsidering what it means to love and be

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