The Role Of The Hero In Horror — страница 3

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simple reason that the author is trying to get a different response out of the audience. In a romance novel one of the author s purposes is to make the reader feel safe and secure so that when he is finished reading the book he is left with the feeling that everything worked out perfectly and everyone is happy. These might be considered warm, fuzzy books. On the other hand, in a horror story the reader is not going to be left with a warm, fuzzy feeling. These are better classified as cold, skeptical books. If things do work out in the end of a horror story it is normally after multiple deaths, horrific disasters and lots of blood. So, if the hero came out of the story with nothing going wrong it would take away from the story as a whole. It would contradict all of the bad things

that happened in the story and leave the reader with ambivalent feelings. It would be the same thing as putting a sad ending on a comedy. The reader goes through the whole story laughing then all of a sudden the reader begins crying. After this happens the reader is left with ambivalent feelings. He wants to be sad because of the ending, yet he can t help but laugh since the rest of the story was so humorous. If the hero in a horror story has a happy ending than the reader would want to be happy for him, but because of all of the bad things that have already happened this is impossible. The way these stories stand, where everything does not work out for the hero, the reader is left with a definite morose feeling. This morose feeling that the reader is left with after reading a

horror story adds to the entertainment value. The reason that people enjoy horror is because it does not leave them with a happy feeling. They enjoy knowing that all of these bad things are happening to other people and not themselves. Horror stories give people a feeling of safe terror. They get the same adrenaline rushes that come with true fear, but, at the same time, they realize that this is not really happening to them and they are safe. According to Stephen King in his essay Why We Crave Horror Movies, people also enjoy horror movies because all people have repressed violent emotions and horror allows a safe outlet for these emotions. People enjoy the release of these repressed emotions because it provides them with a sense of relief. These two ideas are what make horror

stories entertaining. Even though the heroes in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Castle Otronto do not fit into the classic hero formula in which everything works out for the hero and nothing can hurt him, they are hero figures and are necessary to the story as a whole. Without these hero figures the stories would not only lose much of their entertainment value, but they would also be hard put to come to a satisfactory conclusion.