Synthesis Essay Horror fiction is one of the few genres where readersseek out stories that forces themselves to confront ideas and images they wouldmuch rather ignore. Horror reminds us that the world is not always as safe asit seems, exercises our mental muscles and reminds us to keep a little cautionclose. One of the defining traits of this genre is that it provokes a response;emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to reactwith fear. Authors that can scare people with fears they may not have writesome of the best horror books. The novel It by Stephen King is a greatexample of this. In the story, the antagonist reflects the protagonists’ fears,and by the end of the tale some characters are even frightened by each other’sfears.
For instance, the most famous part of this tale is Pennywise, whomanaged to scare everyone, not just people who are afraid of clowns. Along withestablishing fears and connecting them with audiences, horror stories also usesuspense and mystery to build up anxiety and anticipation.Horror literature originatedin the 12th century from heresy and witchcraft. During this timeperiod, horror books were mostly guides on how to combat witchcraft.
Horror asa genre started with gothic horror which combined horror and romanticism together.The first book gothic horror book written was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole in 1764.After gothic horror, during the 19th century, horror fiction leaned moretowards science and mental illness. Horror films were also very popular in theearly 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s, there was a lot ofmovies made based on stories and characters from the gothic era. After this, in1960s and 1970s came the slasher genre the beginning of contemporary horror inliterature, with writers such as Stephen King and Anne Rice.
Horror continuesto expand outside the genre and now becoming more common in novels aboutalternate history, parodies and comic books.Some of the most acclaimedauthors of horror are Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe andOscar Wilde. they were very influential during the 19th century and theycreated some of the most lasting icons in the history of horror, adding subgenres such as science fiction, the vampire and the detective genres to horrorfiction. Horror in the beginning of the 20th century was mostly published magazines.
H. P. Lovecraft was one of the most famous magazine writers at that time and hedealt with themes related to forbidden knowledge, inherited guilt and fate.Lovecraft’s work inspired and influenced many modern writers such as StephenKing and Anne Rice. Anne Rice`s Interviewwith a Vampire expanded and introduced new sub genres into horror fictionand Stephen King’s works expanded horror to audiences worldwide.
I don’t reallyhave any favorite authors but if I had to pick one, I would go with StephenKing. I’ve only read a bit of his novel The Shining, and I loved hisstyle of writing and the way he describes everything using metaphors. I haven’treally read any other horror novels but I have watched many films. What Ireally like about movies like Insidious is that the plot is somethingrelatable. While I was watching this movie, I could feel myself connecting withthe characters and the decisions they face an as a result, I felt more scared.
In order to make an interesting movie or write an attractive novel, the storyhas to be relatable and the reader has to be able to feel exactly what thecharacters feel and in my opinion, this is exactly what authors like StephenKing did. Short StoryJust a ChildJames. Isn’t that a beautiful name? It belongs to myyounger brother, who is just as beautiful. Me and James were best friends,inseparable, until three years ago when my parents were forced to send him to aplace he describes as a prison where they treat you like a test rat and pokeand prod at you all day and stick needles and iv’s into your arms until youcan’t feel them. In reality, he’s in a psychiatric hospital. They sent himthere because he’s crazy. Although James is nearly ten years old, I always sawhim as my baby brother and I’ve always felt a need to protect him from theworld.
I wasn’t the only one who babied James though, my parents nearly killedthemselves taking care of James when he was born. I guess being the youngesthas its advantages because James always got whatever he wanted. Everyone was soblindsided by his love that they didn’t see the signs, but I did.
At first, it was normal things like sleep talking andoccasional nightmares. And then it got worse. He started waking up randomly andmuttering things to himself.
When I asked him about this, he denied it and toldme I was probably dreaming. I believed him and completely forgot about thatnight until one day, I was cleaning our room and found a box of knifes andrandom things sharpened to act as knives under his bed. On the side of the boxin huge red letters, it said “Property of James. Do Not Touch!!!” I was extremelyconcerned for James and without thinking of the consequences, I went straightto my parents to show them what I found and tell them about James’ “episodes”at night.
My parents decided we would go see a psychiatrist and she told us thatJames is very sick and needs to be put under 24-hour professional care. My parentswere hesitant to leave James all by himself in an unknown building but thedoctor told us we had to do this for James and his well-being. Ever since he left, I’ve missed him every day.
During the first year,James would come back home every 2-3 weeks with a nurse but now, he rarely evervisits. It’s been almost 6 moths since I last saw my adorable baby brother. Lasttime James came home, my dad’s razor blades went missing and showed up on thedoorstep sticking up waiting for someone’s foot to pierce through and my momfound blood splattered in random places with no explanation. Im pretty surethis is why James hasn’t come home in so long. Although I know he’s very sick, I’mdesperately waiting for my James to come home because until he does, I have tobe on my best behavior. Bibliography · Novel – The Shining By: Stephen King The Shining by Stephen King isconsidered a classic novel book that was highly successful and establishedStephen King as an important author in the horror genre. This book takes placein the Overlook Hotel, an isolated, haunted resortlocated in the Colorado. The hotel has a dark history, including deaths ofmany of its guests and former caretaker who killed his family and himself.
Themain characters are Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and their five-year-old sonDanny, who move into the hotel after Jack accepts the position as wintercaretaker. Jack is an aspiring writer andrecovering alcoholic with anger issues and he hopes that the hotel’sseclusion will help him reconnect with his family and give him the motivationneeded to work on his play. Danny possesses telepathic abilitiesreferred to as “the shining” that enable him to read minds andexperience hunches. This ability makes it hard for the hotel to possesshim so the Overlook decides to possess Jack instead.one day, Jack gets drunkand the hotel takes control of him and influences him to kill his wife and son.Wendy and Danny manage to lock Jack up I a pantry, a ghost releases him andmakes Jack promise to bring him Danny and kill Wendy.
Jack is still under theinfluence of the hotel and is forced to violently batter his own face with a malletso Danny can’t recognize him. Remembering that Jack has neglected to relievethe pressure on the hotel’s unstable boiler, Danny tells Jack that it is aboutto explode. As Danny and Wendy flee, Jack rushes to the basement, but he is toolate and it explodes, destroying the Overlook. · Short story – The Tell-tale Heart by: Edgar Allan Poe The Tell-tale Heart starts with an unnamed narratoraddressing the reader and claiming that he is nervous but not mad. He says thathe is going to tell a story in which he will defend himself while confessing tokilling an old man. He says his motive was neither passion nor desire formoney, but a fear of the man’s pale blue eye.
Again, he insists that he is notcrazy because his cool and measured actions are not those of a psychopath.Every night, he went to the old man’s apartment and secretly observed the mansleeping. In the morning, he would behave as if everything were normal. After aweek of doing this, the narrator decides that the time is right actually tokill the old man. On the eight night, thenarrator arrives late and the old man wakes up and cries out.
The narratorremains still, watching the old man as he sits awake and frightened. Thenarrator understands how frightened the old man is, and soon starts to hear adull pounding that he interprets as the old man’s terrified heartbeat. Worriedthat a neighbor might hear the loud thumping, he attacks and kills the old man.He then dismembers the body and hides the pieces below the floorboards in thebedroom careful not to leave even a drop of blood on the floor. As he finisheshis job, the narrator hears a knock at the door. The police have arrived, aftera neighbor who heard the old man shriek called them.
The narrator is careful tobe chatty and to appear normal. He leads the officers all over the housewithout acting suspiciously. The policemen do not suspect a thing and thenarrator is comfortable until he starts to hear a low thumping sound herecognizes as the heart of the old man, pounding away beneath the floorboards.
He panics, believing that the police must also hear the sound and know hisguilt. Driven mad by the idea that they are mocking him with their chatter, heconfesses to the crime and shrieks at the men to rip up the floorboards. · Poem – A Child’s Nightmare By: Robert Graves Through long nursery nights he stoodBy my bed unwearying,Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,Purring in my haunted earThat same hideous nightmare thing,Talking, as he lapped my blood,In a voice cruel and flat,Saying for ever, “Cat! … Cat! .
..” That one word was all he said,In monotonous mock despair.Nonsense may be light as air,But there’s Nonsense that can keepHorror bristling round the head,When a voice cruel and flatSays for ever, “Cat! ..
. Cat! … Cat!..
.” He had faded, he was goneYears ago with Nursery Land,When he leapt on me againFrom the clank of a night train,Overpowered me foot and head,Lapped my blood, while on and onThe old voice cruel and flatSays for ever, “Cat! …
Cat! … Cat!…” Morphia drowsed, again I layIn a crater by High Wood:He was there with straddling legs,Staring eyes as big as eggs,Purring as he lapped my blood,His black bulk darkening the day,With a voice cruel and flat,”Cat! .
.. Cat! .
.. Cat! .
.. Cat!…” hesaid, “Cat! ..
. Cat!…” When I’m shot through heart and head,And there’s no choice but to die,The last word I’ll hear, no doubt,Won’t be “Charge!” or “Bomb themout!”Nor the stretcher-bearer’s cry,”Let that body be, he’s dead!”But a voice cruel and flatSaying for ever, “Cat! … Cat! .
.. Cat!” RobertGraves · Song – Tip-toe Thru’ The Tulips With Me By: Tiny Tim Tiptoethrough the window By the window, that is where I’ll be Come tiptoe through the tulips with me Oh,tiptoe from the garden By the garden of the willow tree And tiptoe through the tulips with me Kneedeep in flowers we’ll stray We’ll keep the showers away And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight Will you pardon me? And tiptoe through the tulips with me Maybeit’s flowers you stray will be the showers of life And when I kiss you in the garden in the moonlight Will you pardon me and tiptoe through the tulips with me? · Film – Halloween Directedby: John Carpenter On Halloween night, 6-year-old MichaelMyers, dressed in a clown costume and mask, stabs his older sister Judith todeath with a kitchen knife in their home. 15 years later, on October30, Michael’s child psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis, arrives to take21-year-old Michael to court but he escapes by stealing a car and returns hometo Haddonfield where he kills a mechanic for his uniform and steals a whitemask, a couple of knives, and some rope from a local store. The next day,Halloween, Michael stalks high school student Laurie Strode and throughoutthe day, she notices Michael following her, but her friends dismiss herconcerns. Loomis arrives in Haddonfield in search of Michael and meets withSheriff Leigh Brackett.
The two begin their search at Michael’s house, whereLoomis tells the sheriff about the danger Michael poses, explaining thatMichael is pure evil and capable of further violence. Sheriff Brackett patrolsthe streets while Loomis waits and watches the house, expecting Michael toreturn there. Later that night, Michael kills 3 people and Loomis discovers thecar Michael stole and begins looking for him. Laurie finds the dead bodies and JudithMyers’ headstone in the house as Michael suddenly appears and attacks her.
Barely escaping, Laurie manages to fend him off long enough for Tommy andLindsey (two children) to escape. Loomis sees thetwo children fleeing the house, and goes to investigate, finding Michael andLaurie fighting upstairs. Loomis shoots Michael six times, knocking him off thebalcony but the body is missing.