Hannah Waterman

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The traditional notion that music influences ethical character became especially influential in Postwar America, with the emergence of rock music marketed specifically towards rebellious young people. In the rock industry, controversy became lucrative, and the constant profit-oriented drive to subvert the status quo pushed rock music in various extreme directions. This trajectory reached its pinnacle in the late nineties with the emergence of Marilyn Manson, who combined aspects of punk, metal, and electronic music with “shocking” (and sometimes offensive) visual imagery and fiercely contrarian messages. Several journalists have claimed that Marilyn Manson is “the last rock star.” This paper evaluates that claim by identifying the band’s predecessors in the history of rock music and determining some criteria for “rock star” status, analyzing the use of subversive narrative in Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Triptych, and finally arguing that these albums were terminally subversive in their particular lineage of rock music.

Publication Date






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