When someone mentions a mummy, what do you see? I imagine a little girl or boy wrapped in toilet paper and bumping into everyone while trying to get candy. While mummies are now seen as this evil monster, mummification has been an ancient tradition used by the Egyptians long ago. Mummies are very fascinating in many ways; some connect them to curses and spirits or as a zombie like creature that can come to life. There are many different variations of how the mummy has been portrayed, a recent one has been a movie cleverly named “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise. This movie creates a different kind of mummy from ancient times because it is cursed, she comes back to life, and she is mummified alive.
There is evidence that this unique burial process was used to preserve the dead bodies for the afterlife. Egyptians had strong beliefs that after death there is a whole other life and what was in your tomb is what went with you. Mummifiers would cover the dead body in natron, which would help dry out the body, then wrap it in linen and place it in a clay or wooden coffin. As this process grew more common, people wanted the mummified body to look more presentable and would stuff the sunken areas with more linen and even put fake eyes on them. Placed in the tomb where some afterlife essentials, they arranged furniture, statues, paintings and even food. The Egyptians believed that the body of the mummy was the home of the soul and spirit, if the body were to be destroyed that the spirit might be lost. The Pharaoh and his family were buried in very elaborate tombs with all their luxuries. The mummification process was a joyful celebration sending people to their afterlife in peace. So how did they become this terrifying cursed monster?
The movie “The Mummy” is about an Egyptian princess who is betrayed by her father and seeks revenge. She reaches out to the gods and takes on the fullest form of evil and kills her whole family. Before she is able to live out her mission, she is caught by her father’s priest and is mummified and entombed alive. Her tomb is covered in mercury so her monstrous spirt cannot escape. Many generations later a character named Nick accidently find her tomb and she is resurrected from the dead. The princess mummy has a curse and had cursed Nick into being her chosen one and they both became more and more powerful to eventually take over. The mummy in this movie is portrayed as an evil monster who is more powerful than any human. Her main goal is to be the ruler of Egypt which she feels is her right and was unfairly taken away. It is showing the mummification process in an unhuman and negative way by mummifying her alive. Unlike the real traditions of the Egyptian’s, this is mummification is a punishment and is very scary to even think about. She is also a princess and does not receive any of her luxurious afterlife items. It was a good action filled and suspenseful movie but the plot of the movie can be difficult to follow and it was not as scary as I imagined it to be after seeing the evil looking mummy princess. This movie definitely elaborates on the dark side of the mummy but it does give a back story telling why she chose to be evil. I would give this movie two and a half out of four stars.
“This refusal to participate in the classificatory “order of things” is true of monsters generally; they are disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration. And so the monster is dangerous. A form suspended between forms that threatens to smash distinctions,” (Cohen 6). This is from the third thesis named “The Monster is the Harboring of Category Crisis”, the quote above mentions how monsters are “disturbed hybrids” and that is exactly what the mummy in the movie is because she is unhuman like. This mummy is definitely not following the order of things because she chose the path of evil which makes her a dangerous outcast. “The horizon where the monster’s dwell might well be imagined as the visible edge of the hermeneutic circle itself: the monstrous offers an escape from its hermetic path, an invitation to explore new spirals, new and interconnected methods of perceiving the world,” (Cohen 7). This quote from the third thesis is stating that the monsters offer another reality to life. The mummy just wanted to be the ruler of Egypt because to her that was her right that had been taken away. She was just taking back what was rightfully hers. The mummy in the movie was not always bad but different events that happened made her become evil. This thesis relates to this movie the most because it is a supernatural creature that is rebelling to get her way. “they demand a radical rethinking of boundary and normality. The too precise laws of nature as set forth by science are gleefully violated,” (Cohen 7). This means the monster does not want to be categorized and chooses their own way over the systematic flow. The monster is defiant and that is what makes them a monster. the mummy is a classic evil monster that is not born evil but instead a normal person.
Overall, the mummy is now seen as a scary and terrifying zombie monster when it when it just started as a burial tradition. The mummy in ancient times went through a long burial process preparing them for their afterlife. It may seem from all this that the Egyptians are obsessed with death, when in reality they loved life and wanted their second life to be just as amazing. Buried with their belongings and prized possessions, they were being sent off in their best form with their soul and spirit still intact. In the new recent movie about a mummy, she is portrayed as an evil, cursed spirit. A princess that is mummified alive is a scary thought and gives mummification a negative connotation. This princess is also on a mission and takes out whoever is in her way to become the ruler of Egypt. This makes us fear mummies and see them as monsters. The movie connects to the third thesis of the “Seven Thesis” because is talks about the monsters being hybrids. The mummy is definitely a hybrid because she has supernatural powers unlike any human. It also breaks scientific rules by having a corps be resurrected from the dead. She also breaks them by having powers and being able to control people. This also connects with being created because of the fear of the unknown. People were afraid of a mummy possibly coming back to life, so it eventually became a monster. They were also afraid of curses and spirits and having a dead corps filled with those coming back to life is terrifying. Mummification was not always feared, but a common practice and is now seen as a scary monster that will never go away.