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The Horror Genre - English Language

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  • 1. THE HORROR GENREBy Megan Jones

2. ORIGINS OF THEHORROR GENRE The genre was brought to light in the 18th century asGothic horror, which is now a sub-genre of Horror, withthe publication of the Castle of Otrantoby by HoraceWalpole in 1764. It began with Folk law and religious traditions, with itsprimary focus on death, the afterlife, evil, and demonicpossession. This was then displayed through stories of witches,vampires, werewolves, mummies, and ghosts. 3. CHARACTERISTICS & QUOTES Horror intends to provokes a response; emotional,psychological or physical, within readers that causes themto react with fear. Elizabeth Barrette - Sometimes a story intends to shock anddisgust, but the best horror intends to shake us out of ourcomplacency. It makes us think, forces us to confront ideaswe might rather ignore. Horror reminds us that the world isnot always as safe as it seems. H.P. Lovecraft - "The oldest and strongest emotion ofmankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear isfear of the unknown 4. Horror Fiction ConventionsSetting Conventionally set in isolated towns/villages, more specificallylocated in desolate mansions in the rural countryside, typically witha dark and disturbing past which conventionally forebodes thenarrative. Horror conventionally includes pathetic fallacy such as a winterscene including darkness and foul, miserable weather in order toconnect the reader with the mood of the novel. 5. Horror Fiction ConventionsPlot and Characters The semantic field of any horror novel is fear. The maincharacter can be either adult or child, but should begin as avictim and should be a good person. There is a supernatural or unexplained mystery in the narrative.The evil should begin as an invisible force, as that then createsenigma surrounding the plot, enticing the reader to learn more. The protagonist, conventionally male, should develop somepower in order to conquer the evil entity, which is put to use inthe final, climatic showdown at the conclusion of the novel. 6. Horror Fiction ConventionsPlot and Characters The antagonist is conventionally not revealed until the just beforethe end of the narrative, but appears to be one step ahead of theprotagonist throughout. The narrator is omniscient, which helps the reader learn moreabout each villainous act committed, as well as the narratorseeing the story unfolding from the perspective of the reader. 7. SALEMS LOT STEPHEN KING 8. Unearthly AdverbialThis adds a sense of unease and a supernatural element suggested to the reader. Quiet AdjectiveCreates a remote and isolated atmosphere, conventional of horror Few planes; no turnpikes; even that [the radio] was noise without meaning;,no one owned - Semantic field of miseryThe persistent downcast attitude of the language creates discouragement and agloomy mood, a typical convention seen throughout the genre. Setting/plot - The characters have diverted themselves from an urban areaand moved to a desolate area that is out of touch with society 9. Faded (Stative verb) in and out AdjectiveThe use of a stative verb allows a more emotive bond with the reader, allowing theomniscient narrator to connect with thoughts and feelings. The actual action offading in and out is conventional as it adds a sense of unease and a ghostlypresence. The only motor within hearing distance This implies isolation and a total cut of from the real world, a highly commoncharacteristic of the genre as it gives the sense that no one is there to hear a cryfor help/come to aid. Irregular [Adj.] Faintly [Adv.] Uneasy [Adj.]All create a semantic field of agitation and anxiety, stirring fear within the reader. Uneasy spirit NounA spirit is a highly conventional non-physical character occurring in a horrornovel in order to create a fear into the reader, relating back to the origins ofhorror (supernatural and unearthly creatures) 10. Characters Predominantly male, which conforms to the typically charactertype, as well as the age range of a young boy and then a grown man. Setting ChurchThis is highly conventional as it links with the religious aspects of the horrorgenre which date back to its origins, and is also used throughout many horrortexts as it carries a juxtaposed demonic stigma with its otherwise Godly outlook. Drowsing, suffocating Verbs (dynamic)The use of a dynamic verb paints a more realistic and almost palpable for thereader. 11. It was not over in Salems Lot yet Enigmatic and mysterious, used to entice the reader and forebode the plot Ghost Town Conventional setting for the narrative to take place, also foreshadowing the eventsthat could take place in the future of the town, or revealing the dark history of thetown, which are both conventional. Scared Stative verbThis stative verb is used as an emotive technique on the reader, as it connects withthem on a personal level, causing them to envision a frightful image and feel in aparticularly uneasy way. The boy being scared is not unnerving for the reader, as children are oftentimid, yet the tall man also being frightened is unsettling as it proves that thisis no feeble matter.