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Experienced Intensity throughCharacter Description in Stephen King’s Cell
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates experienced intensity through character description and development

in Stephen King’s Cell. The thesis of the essay is that a deliberately produced narrative

indeterminacy, used mainly on the level of character descriptions, is what produces intensity

by holding the readers of Cell in suspense, i.e., in a state of uncertainty. While King might

stretch the fundamentals of the classic horror genre, he does not abandon them, experimenting

with a genre that makes the readers wonder what to expect next, thereby creating suspenseful

questions. Since the focus of the essay is the readers’ reactions on character descriptions, I

apply reader response theory and the works of Norman Holland, David Bleich and Yvonne

Leffler. The result of the investigation shows that narrative techniques, such as placing brief

descriptions of characters in the course of events in the narrative together with altered norms

and normality allow the readers to experience heightened emotions and feelings. King alters

norms and normality, and presents character descriptions in a fashion that is unexpected; thus

the readers do not know exactly how to relate to these character descriptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 12 p.
Keyword [en]
narratology, apocalypse, zombies, horror, intensity, reader response theory, character descriptions, psychological reader response, subjective reader response
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38881OAI: diva2:881897
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher education
2015-12-11, 15:49 (English)
Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2015-12-16Bibliographically approved

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