The Motif Of Child-Horrors In Rosemary's Baby

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Gothic fiction, which is largely dominated by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre that combines fiction, high emotion, horror and Romanticism. There is much that goes into creating the horror in this genre: sensationalism, the sublime, psychological insights (especially into sexuality), plots within plots and multiple narrators. It is also full of motifs, most often monsters, the fallen man, demon lovers, femme fatales, demons and devils, spirits, dreams and visions, characters who question their own sanity and innocence victimized by evil. In this essay I will be looking at the motif of child-horrors – children used in the gothic genre as monsters, and what the effect of having a child in a gothic fiction. The two works of fiction I…show more content…
Rosemary only wants a child for her and her husband, to start a family together, but instead for her nine months of pregnancy she is cursed with agonizing pain and the not-so-subtle manipulations of her two neighbours Minnie and Roman Castevet. Rosemary’s Baby, a 1968 horror film adapted by Roman Polanski from Ira Levin’s 1967 bestselling novel, is a story of violence, deceit, and misappropriation of a woman’s body by people she trusts that makes a pregnancy a Gothic spectacle (Valerius, 2005). Rosemary becomes the vessel for the child of Satan. After being drugged, Rosemary experiences a terrifying dream where she is raped by the devil, she quickly realizes that this is not just a dream, and when she awakens later on, hazy of what actually happened, she is told by her husband that while she was unconscious he had “sex” with her, Rosemary is horrified by this, as she had no consent in the matter, but Guy explains he saw no harm in it when they had planned to have sex before she fell ill. This is but the first of many scenes where Rosemary’s trust in people close to her is broken, and is also the time that she becomes pregnant with Satan’s child. Throughout the film we see how this pregnancy wares on Rosemary, and how the baby growing inside of her is not normal. Over the months she takes on a special diet created and supplied by her strange elderly neighbours, the Castevet’s, and encouraged by a doctor they referred her to. It seems throughout the movie, that everyone Rosemary meets is out to get her. She can’t trust anyone close to her in fear of being silenced. Even when she goes to the doctor she originally wanted to go to, but was deterred away from, and explains what she thinks and knows is happening, the doctor finds her spouts nonsensical and insane, calling both her husband and current doctor to come and get her. This

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