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In his essay “My Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Stephen King focuses on the effect that horror movies have on kids, but he doesn’t present any scientific explanation for why kids are the perfect audience for horror. For example, he writes, “Children who are physically quite weak, lift the weight of unbelief with ease” (584). When there is a statement like this, there should be some kind of backup, such as a scientific experiment that someone conducted earlier, to prove your point.
Also, the way King formulates sentences makes it difficult to read and understand for the reader. Although this is a great narrative, he discusses many topics in this essay for which he doesn’t have expertise and doesn’t include any sources to support his points. Also, the language that he is using might be difficult for readers to understand and there is no thesis statement in the introduction, which makes it difficult to understand his main point at the beginning of the essay.
The first paragraph lacks a thesis statement, which shows that King isn’t following the format of scholarly essays. There is something that looks like thesis: “in this sense, kids are the perfect audience for horror. The paradox is this: children, who are physically quite weak, lift the weight of unbelief with ease” (584) but it is located all the way in the ninth paragraph. A well written essay should always have its thesis in the introduction, because it tells the reader the summary of the argument and the main point of the essay. Also, a good thesis helps you to limit your focus to a more specific subject. Limiting your focus also helps to develop ideas, examples and evidence for the paper, which makes it more organized and easier to read. There can’t be a good essay with out a thesis statement, because the thesis is your way in the essay, your understanding of what the essay is going to be about.
In addition, King’s style of writing makes it difficult for readers to understand, mainly because of his word choice and the way he structures the sentences. He assumes that all of his readers know what all of the words that he uses mean. For example, “My mother and Milt were talking, perhaps passing a Kool back and forth” (583). He uses the word “Kool,” but how is the reader who doesn’t smoke supposed to know that Kool is a brand of menthol cigarettes? He uses many specific terms that the average person simply doesn’t know, and this fact makes it difficult to read his essay.
Another good example is, “But one of the Doppler effect that seems to occur during the selective forgetting that is so much a part of “growing up” (584). Not everyone knows what the “Doppler’s effect” is, after looking it up on the internet it turns out to be “an increase (or decrease) in the frequency of sound, light, or other waves as the source and observer move toward (or away from each other.” The main purpose of any narrative is to connect to the reader and make them understand the story and to make them comfortable reading it, but King is trying to do completely the opposite. It seems as if his goal is to make the reader confused. As a matter of fact, he talks about many subjects in which he doesn’t have any expertise and there are no sources that would back him up. A good scholarly essay should always include a Works Cited page, in which the writer would include all of the sources that he used for writing his essay. For example, “In this sense, kids are the perfect audience for horror. The paradox is this: Children who are physically quite weak, lift the weight of unbelief with ease” (584).
With out any research, he proposes that kids should watch horror movies. My guess would be that he doesn’t know that kids’ nervous systems is still developing, and we shouldn’t mess it up by letting them watch horror movies. Harrison and Cantor of the University of Wisconsin did a study of 150 college students regarding the effects of watching horror movies when they were children. They found that directly after watching horror movies 52% reported disturbances in areas such as sleeping or eating, as well as increased anxiety. One third reported avoidance of the dreaded or depicted situation and 25% reported obsessive thinking or talking about the frightening situation. However, even more disturbing is that one in four students (25%) experienced such “lingering effects” a year or even years after viewing the disturbing movie. The study that Harrison and Cantor conducted at the University of Wisconsin, is a good and reliable source, because they did a set of experiments to find out weather the horror movies are harmful for kids or not.
As it turns out, horror movie can harm kids, and in most cases they do. This shows that King didn’t bother to conduct any research or a set of experiments to ensure that what he is writing is true. Many people all over the world read his narratives, and his opinion might affect them, and the outcome of this might be that parents would allow there kids to watch horror movies. This might lead to different problems in kid’s nervous system, and as a result they will grow up in fear of something that they saw in a horror movie. Let kids live in their imaginary world, where there is no violence and problems. Moreover he has a very broad focus; it’s very difficult to understand the main idea of the essay. This happened mainly, because of his late thesis statement, which really confuses his readers. He first began his essay with his own life story, in which he talks a lot about his childhood and how he watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. After that he switches from telling us a story, to his opinion about who is a perfect audience for horror movies. A good essay, should be consistent, because if you go from story telling to your opinion, you might lose your reader, and it might change readers understanding of the essay.
This essay would make much more sense, if he would take the main idea of his story and just include it in his introductory paragraph along with his thesis, because he includes many things such as names of his mothers boyfriends, cigarette brands and car names which are not needed to prove his point about horror movies. In conclusion, Stephen King wrote a good narrative, but it lacks many components that a good scholar’s essay should have, such as a strong and affective thesis in the introductory, sources, and diction that would be easier to apprehend without looking it up on Google. As a result, this made his essay difficult to read for an average person and to understand it, because for most of the time he is using a very specific terminology. It’s very crucial for writers to understand that essay or a narrative is written for readers to understand and be comfortable reading it.
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