The subject of monsters isn't one that many modern people might be inclined to engage with, in a scholarly manner. Due to the inherently unscientific nature with which these creatures are ascribed, many scientists and historians have neglected to engage with the stories of these beings both fictional and supposedly truthful. Scholars like Max Weber have argued that as science and reason became the predominant methods by which the natural world was engaged, belief in creatures such as vampires and fairies disappeared from the collective consciousness of the average people. Other scholars, such as Owen Davies, have argued that such beliefs did not disappear, but rather, that they continued onward including into the modern day. This line of reasoning thus begs questions like did the specificities of these beliefs change, and if so, how did they change? What kinds of things caused said changes, and why? Being that the single most significant change in society during the Victorian period in Britain was the rise of industrialization and the expansion of the urbanized center, it follows these should have the largest effect on the change in perceptions of supernatural creatures. The effect that these two shifts had on people’s notions and perceptions of supernatural creatures was twofold. Firstly, industrialization sought and found ways to make commodities out of these monsters. Secondly, the more urbanized people’s ideas about the various monsters changed to that which would be more familiar in appearance and behavior than said creatures exhibited prior to the Victorian period.
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History, Anthropology, & Philosophy
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25 March 2022
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20 July 2022
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