Supernatural in American Fiction

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Supernatural in American Fiction The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. Therefore, it makes sense that if mortals cannot bear the darkness, they [should not] not go there. If man dislikes black night and yawning chasms, then should he not even consider them? Shouldn't man seek out the sunshine, instead? The remedy is very simple: Avoid the darkness and seek the light. But, no. Mankind would never submit to this. He will immediately turn to the darkness. Drawn by his own cords of fear and longing, man will imagine that he is tired of the light and his small, familiar world.3 "No amount of rationalization... or Freudian analysis" can overcome "the thrill of the chimney-corner whisper or the lonely wood."4 Why? Children will always be afraid of the dark and men will always shudder at what they do not understand, yet everyone will continue to seek it. Perhaps it is because society, particularly American society because of its history, believes the final horrors are ghosts and demons, when truly it is the hidden aspects of its own soul.6 As reflected by its literature, American society has always held a deep fascination with the supernatural. Evidence of this is seen throughout American history, from the Puritan era onward. In modern society, one would think that there isn't any place for fantasy and superstitions, but the United States is full of people who are convinced that psychics can predict their future, they have ghosts living in their houses, aliens visit the Earth in flying saucers, and even that they can talk to the dead.7 People believe in the supernatural because they want to believe, because it makes them h... ... middle of paper ... ...omany, 1962. Miller, Arthur, The Crucible, New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc, 1976 Reino, Joseph, Stephen King: The First Decade, Carrie to Pet Sematary, Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1988. Rice, Anne, Interview with the Vampire, New York: Bllantine Books, 1997. Rice, Anne, The Queen of the Damned, New York: Ballantine Books, 1988. Roberts, Bette B., Anne Rice, New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994. Steinbeck, John , The Grapes of Wrath, New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1992. Stossel, John, "The Power of Belief," 17 Dec 2000, On-line. Internet. Available: abcnews.go.com/onair/ABCNEWSSpecials/stossel1990603_belief_trans.html. Thurber, James, "The Night the Ghost Got In," Babusci, Roger, ed. The American Experience, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1989. Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Topeka, Kansas: Tom Doherty Association, Inc, 1985.
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