Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Gruesome Phase

As I was heading to bed last night I noticed some papers on the dining room table. Upon closer examination, I found them to be drawings done by my son, Matt, while most of the rest of the family was watching Cirque du Soleil, Midnight Sun, during family time last night.

Matt was not interested in watching the circus, so he spent his time in more, uh, well, he occupied himself differently. Let's just say that he likes to draw. Matt is a very good drawer. (As in one who draws not that which is drawn from a cabinet.) For subject matter when he draws, Matt chooses things that are on his mind.

For instance, after his fire arms safety class , hunting season, and continuing on throughout the winter months, since his father and I both got handguns this winter, Matt has filled pages with sketches of various models of weaponry. Mostly guns. some drawings demonstrate various actions and firing methods. He has done exploded diagrams and drawings of exploding targets.

Well, it seems Matt has moved on to other ground. Matt has recently seen several versions of The Mummy. He has read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He now draws monsters. Let's just say that I am glad no one from social services saw the sketches on my table last night. Truly a sign of a troubled youth.

I realize that most adolescent boys are pretty morbid. I am not worried. It does not bother me to have my son drawing bloody, oozy wounds made by frighteningly realistic monsters. In fact I enjoy seeing Matt's skills improve with his constant practice.

Matthew is good with emotion. I could just hear the terrified gasp and feel the trembling knees shown in the body language of the man who Matt portrayed entering a room as Frankenstein's monster was leaving the scene of one of his atrocities.

I am not a big fan of Frankenstein. I agreed with Matt when he commented that he thought Shelly included too much detail in parts that were not necessary to the story line. But the idea of a monster such as Dr. Frankenstein's appeals to the gruesome side of a seventh grade psyche, I guess.

As for me, at the time of this writing, I am totally occupied with Eric, the opera ghost, in Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.

1 comment:

A Stafford said...

I'd like to add that this preoccupation for the gruesome hit our son at age 4. Now 5, he constantly draws (or pretends to be) monsters, vampires, ghosts and zombies, and recently drew a self-portrait of himself with sharp jagged teeth and horns. I asked him if he looked like that, and he replied, "No, I just like sharp teeth." You'd have to wonder what a child therapist would infer if they were to have to analyze our family based on my son's drawings! I must add that my son's drawings of "monsters" look more like single-celled organisms with teeth or scary eyes and tentacles. This must be one of the inborn-boy genes. Our daughter, age 8 is our artist, and currently draws Disney characters, Smurfs and Pokemon and has designed her own comic strip of the adventures of a blue jay. Nature or nurture??