The Fears of Children in Stephen King's Horror

Dejan Omerbasic

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This aim of this thesis is to explore which fears are being depicted through the child protagonists in Stephen King’s Carrie (1974) and The Shining (1977). The thesis seeks to observe how these fears oppose the common understanding of the time period in which these novels were published. Through a literary analysis of both novels, it can be concluded that both novels feature the theme of child abuse. The fears of the child protagonists are caused by the verbal and physical abuse of their parents, namely Margaret White and Jack Torrance. By examining the past of these abusive parents, it is revealed that both parents suffered their own forms of abuse. This suggests that child abuse is intergenerational within families. This finding opposes the established belief in the 1970s, that child abuse could mostly be attributed to poor socio-economic status. Using the theory of the uncanny, it can be argued that King induces the feeling of uncanny by blending the familiar with the unfamiliar. King establishes the familiar with his writing style, characters and settings, before unleashed the horror in the form of physical and verbal abuse. King echoes the emerging research of the period, showcasing that child abuse can be found in any home in the country, regardless of social or economic status.

UddannelserEngelsk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato3 jun. 2019
Antal sider53
VejledereIda Klitgård