The Depths of Fear: Peter Benchley

analytical Essay
1329 words
1329 words

The world’s oceans, they cover a great majority of our planet. According to scientists, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about what’s in the waters of our own planet. Even with advancing science we still don’t know very much about them. So imagine what it was like back around the 1970’s, it was already a time of great fear, and to some extent, paranoia in the United States with the threat of nuclear war and multiple other new threats emerging. Surprisingly, although it was known that there were dangerous things in the sea, nobody seemed to pay that much mind to it. All that changed when a man named Peter Benchley wrote a book called Jaws. This book, the resulting movie, and his literary works to follow opened up a new aspect that no one had ever thought of. It was a new breed of terror that came from the last place anyone ever had expected, the ocean itself. It is because of this book that Peter Benchley really became a household name. Born May 8th, 1940 in New York, NY he was raised in a family of writers. His father Nathaniel Benchley was a known writer of children’s books and his grandfather was a well-known humorist named Robert Benchley. He spent his childhood writing and even got paid in his teens to write during his vacations. He got a very formal writer’s education studying at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and attaining his major in English from Harvard. He wrote a sort of autobiography of himself as his very first published book entitled Time and a Ticket in 1964. Before he even got to the ideas for the books he’s now famous for, he spent time in several other writing positions including some for the Washington Post, Newsweek, and he even served as a speech writer for President Lyndon B. ... ... middle of paper ... ... over the course of his life, Peter Benchley passed away in February 2006, the legacy ending of the man who made generations afraid to get in the water. Works Cited Swann, Christopher. "Peter Benchley: Overview." Contemporary Popular Writers. Ed. Dave Mote. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Mar. 2012 The Wilson Quarterly. 30.2 (Spring 2006) p120. Word Count: 155. From Literature Resource Center. "Peter Benchley." (2007): n. page. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. Benchley, Peter. The Beast. Random House, 1991. Print. Benchley, Peter. Shark Trouble. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003. Print. Benchley, Peter. White Shark. Random House, 1994. Print. "Biography for Peter Benchley." n.pag. Web. 5 Apr 2012. .

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the world's oceans cover a great majority of our planet, and that scientists know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own planet.
  • Explains that peter benchley became a household name because of his autobiography, which was published in 1964.
  • Describes how steven spielberg's book jaws was inspired by an article about a massive shark that was caught near long island.
  • Analyzes how the popularity of the book/movie sparked 3 unaccredited sequels and a 2006 video game release, all featuring characters spawned in or inspired by his original story.
  • Explains that benchley wrote several other books featuring aquatic terrors, such as the deep, and white shark. while there were negative remarks, most were overshadowed by the general respect shown for his work.
  • Explains that many of benchley's books received movie adaptations and produced several tv movies of his own. after a while, his works fell out of the media’s attention in lieu of other famous authors.
  • Describes how the man who invented shark hysteria became a staunch environmentalist and advocate of the animals. he wrote an informative book about sharks and other aquatic life called shark trouble.
  • Analyzes benchley's writing style, which is mysterious and vivid. they delved into his books to see how he works.
  • Opines that peter benchley is one of the most successful and timeless authors who ever surfaced in the literary community.
  • Cites the literature resource center's "peter benchley: overview."
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