Argjent Mehmeti


Literature has always been a medium through which authors have explored the many profound human conditions and at the same time, they have provided the means of escapism by entertaining readers with exquisite stories. Except for a few writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley, many critics have viewed the horror genre as lacking in literary merit and seriousness. In modern days, if there is a writer of horror who has achieved both popular and literary acceptance, it has to be Stephen King. In this paper, we will explore his unique view on the human psyche through his writing prowess. His name has become synonymous with the horror genre, helped by the many film adaptations of his works and his undisputable storytelling abilities. By analysing three of his most popular, and probably best works, The Shining, The Stand and It, we will provide examples which support the stance that Stephen King as a horror writer, and the horror genre as a whole, can provide a sound basis for an exceptional examination of human psychology and interaction. We will try to show that horror doesn’t just fear the monster under the bed or the ghoul in the closet, but also fearing to fail our family, our loved ones and even ourselves, and this is where Stephen King truly excels. I hope that this paper will shed light on the matter and provide the ground for further research on the field.

Keywords: Horror, human, condition, fear, monster, literature.

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King, S., (1977), The Shining, Penguin Group

King, S., (1986) It, New American Library

King, S., (1990) The Stand, Doubleday

Magistrale, T., (2010) America’s Storyteller, ABC-CLIO, LLC

Rusell, S.A., (1996), A Critical Companion to Stephen King, Greenwood Publishing Group

Spignesi, S.J., (2001), The Essential Stephen King, Career Press.



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