Study Guide

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Foreignness and the Other

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Foreignness and the Other

Unless you live in a creepy Gothic castle, visiting a creepy Gothic castle on a dark stormy would be a little scary. Mostly this is because of the fear of the unknown. We've all seen enough horror movies that our imaginations run wild. What could be in that big house and its grand echoey chambers? Vampires? Mummies? High rental prices and black mold?

When Brad and Janet initially approach the castle, they're not afraid of astronomical real estate prices, because houses were more affordable in the 1970s. But they are afraid of the cult-like weirdoes inside.

The best way to understand someone different from you is to get to know them. In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad and Janet become acquainted with the denizens of the castle against their will, but they learn they have more in common with this band of sexually liberated aliens than would have ever imagined.

By the way, if you do live in a creepy Gothic castle, please invite us over to your next house party, okay? Thanks.

Questions About Foreignness and the Other

  1. Why is Frank so strange to Brad and Janet? Are they scared by him? Or are they fascinated?
  2. When does Janet's attitude change from wanting to run away to wanting to stay? What changes her mind? What makes her want to run away again at the end?
  3. How would you react if you were in Brad and Janet's shoes (or should we say underwear)? Would you find Frank strange? Scary? Exciting?

Chew on This

Brad and Janet are the "normal" characters because they're monogamous and heterosexual, but to Frank and his crew, Brad and Janet are the other. They are just as strange and fascinating to Frank as Frank is to them.

By spending time in Frank's castle, Brad and Janet become the other themselves, signified by the fact that they return to earth wearing Frank's clothes. Now others will find them to be strange and unusual.

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