ERIC Number: ED423546
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-4
Conquering Fear: The Role of Fantasy and Horror Fiction in the Classroom.
Compora, Daniel P.
Many English teachers face the widespread misconception that if a work of fiction is enjoyable, it cannot be good, or, conversely, if it is good, it cannot be enjoyable. Critics of horror fiction, for example, would likely argue that better reading materials are available for students to read. Inclusion of materials other than "classics" into the curriculum, however, should not depend only on "literary worth" but also on what benefits the adolescent reader gets from the reading experience. John W. Connor and others state that adolescent readers, both male and female, are fascinated by novels of horror and the supernatural. The popularity of the genre is attributed to the popularity of Stephen King. Joseph Patrouch finds that King has "located and exploited an area where science fiction and occult/psychic/horror novels might be said to overlap." Both the writer and the reader may experience somewhat of a catharsis by dealing with certain elements of fear in fiction, and fantasy helps fill the human need to make sense of the world and life. In addition, fantasy and horror fiction allows readers to confront fears in a safe arena. (Contains 8 references.) (PA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A