Essay about Love, Death and Transformation in Ginger Snaps

3016 Words 13 Pages
Love, Death and Transformation in Ginger Snaps

On the surface, Ginger Snaps can be easily dismissed by critics as a typical B-rated teen-turned-werewolf movie. What distinguishes this movie from other horror films, however, is its subversion of the traditional perspective of its genre. The transformation in the film is suffered by Ginger Fitzgerald, a sixteen-year-old girl. This lycanthropy coincides with Ginger's first menstrual period, making the subject matter metaphorical for the often fearful transition into the sexuality and identity formation of adulthood. Moreover, the relationship between Ginger and her sister Brigitte deteriorates in such a way that is also emblematic of the human psyche's conflicts. As their paths diverge
…show more content…
Their attachment toward one another is a type of displacement of Oedipal affection, since at times they nurture each other like parental figures. In one of the earlier scenes for example, Ginger protects Brigitte from bullying by a classmate during a field hockey game in gym class. Ginger reacts to the aggressors like a female animal would in protection of her young. Overall, the girls' strained relationship with their parents and peers explains some of their dependence upon one another, and symbolizes on a Freudian level a disturbance in their psycho-sexual stages of development. This dysfunction of the girls' Oedipal Complex is a precursor to the conflicts that arise for the sisters throughout the narrative.

The sisters' macabre bond is formed by a general apathy toward life, hostility toward societal conventions, sexual norms, and aggression toward other people and even themselves. The girls displace their instinctual sexual drives in a fascination with death, as exemplified in the subject matter of their shared artistic endeavor. The film's opening credits, for example, reveal images of the sister's death project—a series of photographs that show the girls in dead, mutilated positions due to staged suicides, impalements, decapitations and theatrical violent accidents. They also entertain a suicide pact which they made at the age of 8, of which their slogan is, "Out by 16 or

Related Documents