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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre$
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James Rose

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733643

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733643.001.0001

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The Charnel House

The Charnel House

(p.47) The Charnel House
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

James Rose

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the motifs of the haunted castle, the monster, and persecution and paranoia, which are intrinsic to interpreting The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Such is the intensity of the occurrences of these motifs throughout the text that it is possible to cite Chain Saw within the Gothic genre. The figure of the monster is perhaps both the Gothic's and horror's central image. As either a physical or supernatural being, they are the source of the tension, threat, and violence of the narrative. Their actions — be they murderous or simply the relentless pursuit of the protagonist — drive the narrative forward towards its deathly end, a culmination in which, for the most part, the monster is vanquished in graphic and, at times, euphoric terms. The chapter then considers Chain Saw's monster: Leatherface.

Keywords:   haunted castle, monster, persecution, paranoia, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Gothic genre, horror genre, Leatherface

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