Filmic Representations of Freaks and Special Features in Tod Browning's 'Freaks'


Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2016
19 Pages, Grade: 2,3

Abstract or Introduction

Since the early beginning of mankind there have always been people who differed from the great majority. They presented various features which separated and isolated them from the rest of mankind; from the “normal people”. These essential characteristics can be caused by medical issues, genetic defects, or other reasons and lead to a life outside of the boundaries by reason of standing beyond normality. Causes are plain deviations from normal people’s mental or physical constitution. For instance, some of these different human beings have extra or missing body parts or lack extremities at all, some are much taller than average people, and some are smaller. Therefore, humans seen as different and not normal, or in other words, as abnormal can be called freaks.

Furthermore, these so called freaks are defined as a curiosity and abnormal formed organism. Already the lable “freak” exemplifies the personage of a strange otherness and abnormality. There are born freaks (with physical anomalies), made freaks (e.g. tattooed people), gaffed freaks (fake freaks) and novelty acts (e.g. sword swallowers).

As one matter of this term paper the representation of these different kinds of freaks will be discussed regarding Tod Browning’s film Freaks. The film deals with handicapped humans, who comply with the various definitions of a freak. My goal is to establish the place of freaks in the movie and to examine how they are represented. This also includes filmic means, like camera angles, colors and lighting, sounds and music, editing techniques, dialogue, framing and characters, costumes, and the relation between characters. The filmic representation analysis will also be focused on the representation of the conflicting cultural views on freaks and the freak show at the time the film was made. Furthermore, the gaze and the representation of reality play an important role in the critical framework of the film.

Details

Title
Filmic Representations of Freaks and Special Features in Tod Browning's 'Freaks'
College
University of Tubingen  (Anglistik)
Course
Freak Culture - The Spectacle and the Gaze
Grade
2,3
Author
Year
2016
Pages
19
Catalog Number
V453345
ISBN (eBook)
9783668854727
ISBN (Book)
9783668854734
Language
English
Tags
Freak, Freaks, Gaze, Spectacle, Freak show, freak culture, filmic representations, Tod Browning, Browning
Quote paper
Janine Bergmeir (Author), 2016, Filmic Representations of Freaks and Special Features in Tod Browning's 'Freaks', Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/453345

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