An Examination of Halloween Literature And its Effect on the Horror Genre

WYLDE, Benjamin (2019). An Examination of Halloween Literature And its Effect on the Horror Genre. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis will explore the effect of Halloween narratives in the wider horror genre. This will be accomplished by means of a close textual analysis with novels such as The Halloween Tree (1972) and films such as Trick ‘r Treat (2008) and Boys in the Trees (2016). This thesis will seek to provide answers, firstly, as to how Halloween narratives serve as a subversion of the typical horror formulas and, secondly, why this particular field of study has been ignored for so long. Horror literature and cinema, typically, has the effect of frightening their audience, by creating a sense of fear, unease and morbid dread. But it is my belief that Halloween narratives serve, entirely, the opposite purpose, that by utilizing the morbid and the monstrous it instead works to facilitate comfort and the diffusion of fear. Halloween is a carnivalesque celebration of death in many cultures and by celebrating it the human race derives catharsis in the thought of facing death without fear. Close readings of the novel and films have yielded intriguing results, and seem to confirm my initial suggestion. Despite this, there are few examples of the sub-genre available and no discourse on the subject. As a result, I have been forced to rely on other fields of theory, most notably in horror cinema and gothic and children’s literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis advisor - O'Brien, Shelley
Additional Information: Director of studies: Shelley O'Brien
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 10:46
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:03

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