Horror In Stephen King's Why We Crave Horror

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It is the end of a long week at school. The toppling pile of homework on your bedroom desk is not getting any shorter, while your stress is going through the roof. Everybody at school seems to be testing your patience and you feel like a meltdown is right around the corner. What’s the best way to relieve all this stress? Well, according to the king of horror himself, Stephen King, the best reliever is horror. In King’s essay,”Why We Crave Horror.” he states that the human condition requires this release of energy, and this release is best performed through horror. Although King may be correct in his idea of catharsis, his downfall comes when he claims that horror is the best release for everyone. In spite of his shortcomings, King made many valid points about catharsis. King states,”The potential lyncher is in almost all of us, and every now and then, he has to be let loose to scream and roll around in the grass”(2). I strongly agree with this statement, but it is not without its flaws. We do need to “let loose” and allow these emotions to flow so they don’t overcome us, and we need effective ways to do this aswell, but, King states that the most effective way to do this is through horror. There are billions of people on the planet so even though horror may be the most effective for you, it is not logical to assume that horror helps everyone relieve stress. Horror can have the opposite effect on some people and stress them out as well as scare them half to death. We all need to keep our negativity to a minimum, and to do that we need a way of expressing it in a nonviolent way. As King himself puts it,”...all you need is love, and I would agree. As long as you keep the gators fed.” The gators, representing negativity, need to be ... ... middle of paper ... ...ve feedback. But, King once again goes on and states,”But if we deliberately slam the little puke of a sister’s fingers in the door, sanctions follow”(3). Judging by the way King states this claim, he is implying that these actions should not be reprimanded. This is slightly contradictory to his idea of catharsis and how we need to feed these negative emotions in non negative ways, like in horror movies. Violence should not be rewarded and it should a last resort and subsequently punished in most cases. We all need positive outlets. Throughout King’s essay he constantly displays his bias and opinions and rarely uses facts of any kind. He claims that horror is the best outlet for negative emotions, and that we need to let these emotions out, but then contradicts himself by talking about violence. Overall, this essay is flawed and I disagree with most of what he says.
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