Stephen King TG Penguin Books

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A Teacher s Guide to Selected Horror Short Stories of Stephen King 2. INTRODUCTION, There is no doubt that Stephen King is an incredibly popular author of horror short stories and novels High school students. who have not read his novels have probably seen films based one of them or others for which he has written the screenplays. Because of his popularity with the young assigning a Stephen King short story to a class will certainly appeal to even the. most reluctant readers Students will read and enjoy his works Although most teachers recognize the motivational quality. of King s work many have not considered teaching it in the classroom His often strong language or the grossness of the. horror in some of his stories may have been a barrier However King has many stories that are not only motivational but. worthy of study Because students are already familiar with King s work and are intrigued by the genre of horror they are. willing to analyze the stories and use them as a model for their own writing When introduced as the first readings in a unit. on horror and suspense in literature King s short stories can be excellent springboards to the work of the classic novelists. The goal of this teacher s guide is to provide a selection of King s short stories that are appropriate for classroom use. Without a doubt they are horrifying however they also have important messages about good and evil and human moti. vation The vocabulary in the selected stories is frequently challenging but rarely crude When hard colloquial language. is employed it is appropriate to the characters and the story Teachers however are warned to pre read these stories before. assigning them to a class and to use only those that are most appropriate for the maturity of the students. This teacher s guide will suggest ways to incorporate the selected Stephen King short stories into the high school or col. lege English curriculum It is divided into the following sections Introduction Overview of Stephen King and His Work. Suggestions for Teaching Extending Students Knowledge and A Note About Censorship The activities suggested require the. students active involvement in the stories and include ideas for discussion writing research drama and utilization of technology. WHAT MAKES STEPHEN KING S FICTION WORTHY OF STUDY, Recent surveys of high school and college students indicate that the fiction of Stephen King is highly read In terms of. popularity he is a major contemporary author who has mastered the craft of creating horror and suspense stories both. genres with long historic and literary roots Such writers as Charlotte Bronte Emily Bronte Mary Shelley Bram Stoker. William Shakespeare Edgar Allan Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne Herman Melville Robert Louis Stevenson Wilkie Collins. and Charles Dickens are just a few examples of classic writers who won similar popular acclaim in their day. 1 Stephen King is first and foremost a good storyteller. 2 He uses terror horror and gross techniques to captivate his readers. 3 He cleverly creates the unexpected, 4 Youthful and elderly characters are important in his stories. 5 He provides insights into the dark side of humanity. 6 The forces of good and evil are often equal combatants. 7 The fragility of life is a major theme, 8 He writes about taboo subjects such as death destruction and the unknown. 9 Characters often harbor evil and or vengeful feelings that compel their actions. 10 He is not a moralist his stories unfold naturally. A Teacher s Guide to Selected Horror Short Stories of Stephen King 3. OVERVIEW OF STEPHEN KING AND HIS WORK, Stephen King was born in Portland Maine in September 1947 His father left the family while Stephen was very young.
and his mother supported them with a variety of low paying jobs After moving several times the family moved to. Durham Maine where Stephen s mother took care of her aging parents. Although Stephen s father was not a part of his life he influenced him by leaving behind many fantasy horror fiction. books A lonely child who wore thick glasses and was not good in athletics Stephen preferred the solitary activities of lis. tening to horror stories on the radio reading scary books and watching science fiction movies As a youth Stephen read. avidly and enjoyed a wide variety of books by authors such as John D MacDonald Ed McBain Shirley Jackson J R R. Tolkien Ken Kesey Margaret Mitchell Andre North Jack London Agatha Christie and Thomas Hardy. By the time Stephen was in high school he was writing short stories modeled on the books he had read They were set in. small towns and included horror and suspense He began sending them to science fiction magazines and although none. were published he did win first prize in an essay contest He was also developing other interests and becoming more social. He played football and the guitar with a rock and roll band After graduating from high school he received a scholarship. to major in English at the University of Maine at Orono While in college he had to work several part time jobs to sup. port himself In 1971 he married Tabitha Jane Spruce whom he had met at the University and remains married to today. By the time Stephen graduated from college he had published two short stories for which he received a total of 70. However he could not support himself and Tabitha by writing and he continued to work at one of his part time jobs. Finally he found a job teaching English at Hampden Academy a private co ed secondary school Whenever he could find. time he wrote fiction Periodically he would sell a short story to a magazine however the young couple barely had. enough money for food and other bills, Discouraged he threw away a book manuscript Tabitha always supportive of his writing retrieved it and urged him to send. it to an editor at Doubleday who had shown some interest in his efforts Sure enough Doubleday decided to publish his. first novel Carrie and the novel s paperback rights were sold for 400 000 Horror readers loved it and his career was. born In 1976 Brian De Palma turned the novel into a financially successful movie A paperback tie in was released along. with the film and over four million copies were sold Stephen was able to stop teaching and devote full time to writing. Soon after Stephen signed a multimillion dollar contract with New American Library who still publish his paperbacks and. since the publication of The Dead Zone in 1979 Viking has published his new hardcover books Today Stephen King s novels. and short story anthologies have been turned into popular films While each new book rises to the top of the best seller charts. he Tabitha and their three children continue to live modestly in Maine The King family is very close and talk about the kinds. of things many families discuss little league books and movies The Kings although famous lead a normal life Stephen. King admits to having many fears but he also has many interests and still enjoys reading radio and rock and roll. A Teacher s Guide to Selected Horror Short Stories of Stephen King 4. IN HIS OWN WORDS, Stephen King has been interviewed by many people As a best selling author and master craftsman of tales of horror he. frequently appears in the popular press and media Through King s own words students can get a good picture of the man. and the writer Teachers can use King s remarks to encourage discussions about writing and his stories King s comments. have been grouped by topic for easy reference and discussion. READERS AND READING, Horror fiction was conservative and that was its appeal to teenagers the two things go together because teenagers are. the most conservative people in American society You know small children take is as a matter of course that things will. change every day and grown ups understand that things change sooner or later and their job is to keep them from chang. ing as long as possible It s only kids in high school who are convinced they re never going to change. From An Evening with Stephen King at the Billerica Massachusetts Public Library 1983 by Colony. Communications Inc, I think you can do more with creative writing in high school than you can in college the thing about high school is. that the students look at school in a different way. I had my college students read Double Indemnity by James M Cain and I had them read a novel by David Morrell called. First Blood I had them read primarily novels and I wanted them to read to think and to write about what they had read. From An Interview with Stephen King by Paul Janeczko Published in English Journal February 1980. 1980 by the Nation Council of Teachers of English, I can t think of half a dozen movies that would compare with the books that spawned them.
From Interview with Stephen King by Michael Kilgore Published in the Tampa Tribune August 31 1986. 1986 Michael Kilgore, The horror story makes us children OK That s the primary function of the horror story to knock away all of this. stuff we cover ourselves up with Horror is seen as this barren thing that s supposed to take us over taboo lines to places. we aren t supposed to be And children are able to feel things adults can t because of all the experience we ve had. From The Dark Beyond the Door Walking Nervously into Stephen King s World by Freff Interview origi. nally published in Tomb of Dracula Issues No 4 and 5 1980 Marvel Comics Group. People ask what scares me Everything scares me Bugs are bad Sometimes I think about taking a bite into a great big. hoagie you know full of bugs Getting stuck in elevators Airplanes The dark is a big one I don t like the dark. Just about everything frightens me, From An Evening with Stephen King at the Billerica Massachusetts Public Library 1983 by Colony. Communications Inc, I don t walk under ladders I m scared I ll get seven years bad luck if I break a mirror I try to stay home cowering under. the covers on Friday the thirteenth But I have a thing about the number 13 in general it never fails to trace that old. icy finger up and down my spine, From Playboy Interview Stephen King June 1983 1983 by Playboy. A Teacher s Guide to Selected Horror Short Stories of Stephen King 5. EVIL AND HORROR, The horror genre exists on three basic levels separate but independent and each one a little bit cruder than the one.
before There s terror on top the finest emotion any writer can induce then horror and on the very lowest level of all the. gag instinct of revulsion Naturally I ll try to terrify you first and if that doesn t work I ll try to horrify you and if I can t. make it there I ll try to gross you out, From Playboy Interview Stephen King June 1983 1983 by Playboy. A lot of people retreat into fantasy worlds because the real world is kind of a gruesome place. I think most people see horror writers as depraved individuals who are strange weird a little bit creepy probably unlovely. somebody who would be clammy to touch, Most of the ones horror writers I know are big hale and hearty cheerful outgoing friendly people and I think one of. the reasons they are is that you have to have a certain confidence in yourself to be able to create a human monster. From Would You Buy a Haunted Car From This Man by Edwin Pouncey Published in Sounds magazine. May 21 1983 by Spotlights Publications Ltd, Nobody in this field talks about good Everybody talks about evil Evil is a tremendously attractive force a tremen. dously potent force You ve got more and more books where evil wins where evil proves to be the stronger Rosemary s Baby. is one And even in The Exorcist it s very hard to tell what happens in the end. From Shine of the Times an interview with Stephen King by Marty Ketchum Pat Cadigan and Lewis Shiner. Published in Shayol Summer 1979 Volume One Number Three 1979 by Flight Unlimited Inc. Horror is one of the ways we walk our imagination It s a way to relieve bad feelings rather than something that causes them. From Novelist Loves His Nightmares by Jack Matthews Published in Detroit Free Press November 12 1982. 1982 by Detroit Free Press, Writing is necessary for my sanity As a writer I can externalize my fears and insecurities and night terrors on paper. And in the process I m able to write myself sane, Those avatars of high culture hold it almost as an article of religious faith that plot and story must be subordinated to.
style whereas my deeply held conviction is that story must be paramount All other considerations are secondary. theme mood even characterization and language, From Playboy Interview Stephen King June 1983 1983 by Playboy. I would say plotting is the most difficult thing Characterization is only hard because sometimes I feel I get so interest. ed in it that I want to talk too much about the characters and that slows the story down. I start with ideas and I know where I m going but I don t outline I usually have an idea of what s going to happen but. I never write any of it down because that sort of closes you off from an interesting sidetrip that might come along. From An Interview with Stephen King by Joyce Lynch Dewes Moore Published in Mystery magazine March. 1981 1980 by Joyce Lynch Dewes, A writer learns by reading how important motivation is to the story. From An Interview with Stephen King by Paul Janeczko Published in English Journal February 1980. 1980 by the National Council of Teachers of English. A Teacher s Guide to Selected Horror Short Stories of Stephen King 6. SUGGESTIONS FOR TEACHING,BEFORE READING THE STORIES. Introduce the genre of horror and suspense with a film such as The Haunting The Phantom of the Opera or Psycho Have. STEPHEN KING from the Anthologies Night Shift Nightmares and Dreamscapes This teacher s guide will suggest ways to incorporate the selected Stephen King short stories into the high school or col lege English curriculum It is divided into the following sections Introduction Overview of Stephen King and His Work Suggestions for Teaching Extending Students Knowledge and A Note

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