Synthesis within readers that causes them to react with

Synthesis Essay

Horror fiction is one of the few genres where readers
seek out stories that forces themselves to confront ideas and images they would
much rather ignore. Horror reminds us that the world is not always as safe as
it seems, exercises our mental muscles and reminds us to keep a little caution
close. One of the defining traits of this genre is that it provokes a response;
emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to react
with fear. Authors that can scare people with fears they may not have write
some of the best horror books. The novel It by Stephen King is a great
example 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’s
fears. For instance, the most famous part of this tale is Pennywise, who
managed to scare everyone, not just people who are afraid of clowns. Along with
establishing fears and connecting them with audiences, horror stories also use
suspense and mystery to build up anxiety and anticipation.

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Horror literature originated
in the 12th century from heresy and witchcraft. During this time
period, horror books were mostly guides on how to combat witchcraft. Horror as
a 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 more
towards science and mental illness. Horror films were also very popular in the
early 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s, there was a lot of
movies made based on stories and characters from the gothic era. After this, in
1960s and 1970s came the slasher genre the beginning of contemporary horror in
literature, with writers such as Stephen King and Anne Rice. Horror continues
to expand outside the genre and now becoming more common in novels about
alternate history, parodies and comic books.

Some of the most acclaimed
authors of horror are Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe and
Oscar Wilde. they were very influential during the 19th century and they
created some of the most lasting icons in the history of horror, adding sub
genres such as science fiction, the vampire and the detective genres to horror
fiction. 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 he
dealt with themes related to forbidden knowledge, inherited guilt and fate.
Lovecraft’s work inspired and influenced many modern writers such as Stephen
King and Anne Rice. Anne Rice`s Interview
with a Vampire expanded and introduced new sub genres into horror fiction
and Stephen King’s works expanded horror to audiences worldwide. I don’t really
have any favorite authors but if I had to pick one, I would go with Stephen
King. I’ve only read a bit of his novel The Shining, and I loved his
style of writing and the way he describes everything using metaphors. I haven’t
really read any other horror novels but I have watched many films. What I
really like about movies like Insidious is that the plot is something
relatable. While I was watching this movie, I could feel myself connecting with
the 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 story
has to be relatable and the reader has to be able to feel exactly what the
characters feel and in my opinion, this is exactly what authors like Stephen
King did.




Short Story

Just a Child

James. Isn’t that a beautiful name? It belongs to my
younger 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 a
place he describes as a prison where they treat you like a test rat and poke
and prod at you all day and stick needles and iv’s into your arms until you
can’t feel them. In reality, he’s in a psychiatric hospital. They sent him
there because he’s crazy. Although James is nearly ten years old, I always saw
him as my baby brother and I’ve always felt a need to protect him from the
world. I wasn’t the only one who babied James though, my parents nearly killed
themselves taking care of James when he was born. I guess being the youngest
has its advantages because James always got whatever he wanted. Everyone was so
blindsided by his love that they didn’t see the signs, but I did.

At first, it was normal things like sleep talking and
occasional nightmares. And then it got worse. He started waking up randomly and
muttering things to himself. When I asked him about this, he denied it and told
me I was probably dreaming. I believed him and completely forgot about that
night until one day, I was cleaning our room and found a box of knifes and
random things sharpened to act as knives under his bed. On the side of the box
in huge red letters, it said “Property of James. Do Not Touch!!!” I was extremely
concerned for James and without thinking of the consequences, I went straight
to 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 that
James is very sick and needs to be put under 24-hour professional care. My parents
were hesitant to leave James all by himself in an unknown building but the
doctor 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 ever
visits. It’s been almost 6 moths since I last saw my adorable baby brother. Last
time James came home, my dad’s razor blades went missing and showed up on the
doorstep sticking up waiting for someone’s foot to pierce through and my mom
found blood splattered in random places with no explanation. Im pretty sure
this is why James hasn’t come home in so long. Although I know he’s very sick, I’m
desperately waiting for my James to come home because until he does, I have to
be on my best behavior.





·       Novel – The Shining             By: Stephen King


                  The Shining by Stephen King is
considered a classic novel book that was highly successful and established
Stephen King as an important author in the horror genre. This book takes place
in the Overlook Hotel, an isolated, haunted resort
located in the Colorado. The hotel has a dark history, including deaths of
many of its guests and former caretaker who killed his family and himself. The
main characters are Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and their five-year-old son
Danny, who move into the hotel after Jack accepts the position as winter
caretaker. Jack is an aspiring writer and
recovering alcoholic with anger issues and he hopes that the hotel’s
seclusion will help him reconnect with his family and give him the motivation
needed to work on his play. Danny possesses telepathic abilities
referred to as “the shining” that enable him to read minds and
experience hunches. This ability makes it hard for the hotel to possess
him so the Overlook decides to possess Jack day, Jack gets drunk
and 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 and
makes Jack promise to bring him Danny and kill Wendy. Jack is still under the
influence of the hotel and is forced to violently batter his own face with a mallet
so Danny can’t recognize him. Remembering that Jack has neglected to relieve
the pressure on the hotel’s unstable boiler, Danny tells Jack that it is about
to explode. As Danny and Wendy flee, Jack rushes to the basement, but he is too
late and it explodes, destroying the Overlook.


·       Short story – The Tell-tale Heart                by: Edgar Allan Poe


The Tell-tale Heart starts with an unnamed narrator
addressing the reader and claiming that he is nervous but not mad. He says that
he is going to tell a story in which he will defend himself while confessing to
killing an old man. He says his motive was neither passion nor desire for
money, but a fear of the man’s pale blue eye. Again, he insists that he is not
crazy 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 man
sleeping. In the morning, he would behave as if everything were normal. After a
week of doing this, the narrator decides that the time is right actually to
kill the old man. On the eight night, the
narrator arrives late and the old man wakes up and cries out. The narrator
remains still, watching the old man as he sits awake and frightened. The
narrator understands how frightened the old man is, and soon starts to hear a
dull pounding that he interprets as the old man’s terrified heartbeat. Worried
that 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 the
bedroom careful not to leave even a drop of blood on the floor. As he finishes
his job, the narrator hears a knock at the door. The police have arrived, after
a neighbor who heard the old man shriek called them. The narrator is careful to
be chatty and to appear normal. He leads the officers all over the house
without acting suspiciously. The policemen do not suspect a thing and the
narrator is comfortable until he starts to hear a low thumping sound he
recognizes 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 his
guilt. Driven mad by the idea that they are mocking him with their chatter, he
confesses 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 stood

By my bed unwearying,

Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,

Purring in my haunted ear

That same hideous nightmare thing,

Talking, as he lapped my blood,

In a voice cruel and flat,

Saying for ever, “Cat! … 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 keep

Horror bristling round the head,

When a voice cruel and flat

Says for ever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!…”


He had faded, he was gone

Years ago with Nursery Land,

When he leapt on me again

From the clank of a night train,

Overpowered me foot and head,

Lapped my blood, while on and on

The old voice cruel and flat

Says for ever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!…”


Morphia drowsed, again I lay

In 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!…” he
said, “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 them

Nor the stretcher-bearer’s cry,

“Let that body be, he’s dead!”

But a voice cruel and flat

Saying for ever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!”




Song – Tip-toe Thru’ The Tulips With Me       By: Tiny Tim


through the window 
By the window, that is where I’ll be 
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me 

tiptoe from the garden 
By the garden of the willow tree 
And tiptoe through the tulips with me 

deep 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 

it’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      
by: John Carpenter


On Halloween night, 6-year-old Michael
Myers, dressed in a clown costume and mask, stabs his older sister Judith to
death with a kitchen knife in their home. 15 years later, on October
30, Michael’s child psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis, arrives to take
21-year-old Michael to court but he escapes by stealing a car and returns home
to Haddonfield where he kills a mechanic for his uniform and steals a white
mask, a couple of knives, and some rope from a local store. The next day,
Halloween, Michael stalks high school student Laurie Strode and throughout
the day, she notices Michael following her, but her friends dismiss her
concerns. Loomis arrives in Haddonfield in search of Michael and meets with
Sheriff Leigh Brackett. The two begin their search at Michael’s house, where
Loomis tells the sheriff about the danger Michael poses, explaining that
Michael is pure evil and capable of further violence. Sheriff Brackett patrols
the streets while Loomis waits and watches the house, expecting Michael to
return there. Later that night, Michael kills 3 people and Loomis discovers the
car Michael stole and begins looking for him. Laurie finds the dead bodies and Judith
Myers’ headstone in the house as Michael suddenly appears and attacks her.
Barely escaping, Laurie manages to fend him off long enough for Tommy and
Lindsey (two children) to escape. Loomis sees the
two children fleeing the house, and goes to investigate, finding Michael and
Laurie fighting upstairs. Loomis shoots Michael six times, knocking him off the
balcony but the body is missing.