2010 by American Reading Company
Reader: _____________________________ Room: ___________
Horror: Speculative FictionHorror is an emotion. You know it when you feel it. Authors of horror create an emotional reaction in their readers of fear or dread. They confront our comfortable, everyday lives with something unknown and unknowable, but lurking and horrific. Choose a good horror story to read and ask yourself: Why do we love horror?
Time: When does the story take place and why does it matter? Time of day or year Past, present, or future Historical period
Place: Where does this story take place and why does it matter?
Situation: In our world, the events of this book: Could never happen. Might happen. Could definitely happen.
Source of Horror Identify and describe the source of horror. The unknown The supernatural A form of evil Psychological
What literary devices are used to create the sense of horror? Foreshadowing/flashback Figurative language
Plot: Describe the rising action, climax, and falling action of the story.
Subplots: Are there subplots? What purpose do they serve?
Narrator: Who is the narrator and why did the author decide to tell the story this way? First person Third person omniscient Third person limited Reliable or unreliable
Protagonist: Describe the main characters: Traits and how they
influence the action and theme.
Place in society and why it matters.
Sources of Comfort What sources of comfort are available to the main character?
Monster: Is there a monster? In what ways is it: Threatening (evokes fear)? Disgusting (evokes disgust)? Both (evokes horror)?
Effect: How does the source of horror affect the protagonist: Morally Physically Psychologically Socially Spiritually
Authors Purpose: Why do you think the author wrote this book? What was his/her theme, message, moral or lesson, for you, the reader?
Basic Conflicts: What are the essential conflicts in the book and how do they relate to the theme?
Good vs. Evil: Is it obvious where the good and evil lie in the book, or is it ambiguous?How does this relate to the theme?
Love: Do relationships ultimately triumph over the horror? How does this relate to the theme?
Knowledge: What is the role of knowledge and what are the rules for pursuing it?
Search for Self: What does the protagonist learn? How does this relate to the theme?
Search for Meaning: Are the characters struggling with the meaning/purpose of life? What seems to be the authors position?