As I sent myself the wrong version of my presentation I decided to expand on the part about clowns that I wanted to talk about. Let’s face it, clowns are scary as heck and an excellent representation of the grotesque. As mentioned in class and the readings, Clowns, Jesters, and Fools have been used for ages to tell stories about the Carnival and humorous grotesque. They are, less than everyone else, bound by the rules of social convention, since it is their job to make fun of things. It is why the Jester was the only who was allowed to make fun of the king, to give him a sense of perspective, help keep him grounded.
One particular, and probably the most well-known clown is known as the grotesque white face clown. These clowns, as per their name, have a painted white face. They generally sport a big red nose and bright colours. They are grotesque in the way that they represent a deformed human body; usually with exaggerated facial features, such as the big red nose and a large mouth as well as other exaggerated body parts. Best examples of these would be the oversized feet and bloated belly. Clowns make fun of humans by generally being clumsy, spilling things, pulling pranks, and generally acting idiotic.
They are portrayed in many types of literature and movies and are still a well-known children’s entertainer. Clowns have been used anywhere from children’s shows such as “The big comfy couch” and “Dumbo” to adult horror fiction, the best example being Stephen Kings “IT”. For those of you who don’t know “IT”, it’s about a child eating clown who lives in the sewers and transforms into a giant spider. If that isn’t horrifying I don’t know what is.
I believe the grotesque nature of clowns is what may cause many people to find them fearful or at least uneasy. They show an unnatural representation of the human body and actions.
What I find most interesting is how broad and utilized clowns are in modern society as well as the past. They are a way of relating to the grotesque that everyone can understand.