American Horror Story: What is it really about?

What Is American Horror Story Really About?

At first glance, American Horror Story (AHS) appears a parade of horror tropes and gory visuals, but beneath the surface, the series is an intricate dissection of American society’s deepest anxieties. Each season is a standalone narrative, exploring themes far beyond the reaches of traditional horror.

While menacing spirits and the surreal dance on screen, AHS delves into the collective unconscious of the American psyche. For instance, the infamous Murder House, the centerpiece of Season 1, is more than just a haunted residence. The house acts as a vessel, showing how past actions seep into the present, affecting families and the fabric of society.

Through its various settings, from asylums to cults, AHS dissects existential fears around identity and belonging. The asylum in Season 2 is not solely a house of horrors but a critique on the archaic, and often barbaric, approaches to mental health and the alienation of the ‘other’.

The show’s cults, witches, and apocalypse scenarios reveal underlying distress about governance, power dynamics, and societal collapse. Cult leaders in AHS aren’t just power-hungry figureheads but representations of blind allegiance and the perils of charismatic leadership.

In Coven, witches, typically symbols of female independence, grapple with generational divides and the struggle to maintain cultural identity in a rapidly changing world. They tackle head-on the issues of racism and the fight for positions of power within their own ranks.

American Horror Story, then, is a mosaic of the American condition, reflecting societal issues through the lens of the macabre. Each episode is a conversation starter, offering a social commentary that encourages viewers to ponder the realities that lurk beneath their own fears.


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