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Extra info for Teaching Stephen King: Horror, the Supernatural, and New Approaches to Literature

Sample text

The distinct separation of the different elements of Mort’s identity brings the issue of psychological duality to the forefront. As Mort’s ex-wife Amy discusses what happened with investigator Fred Evans in the novella’s epilogue, Evans tries to explain it, saying that “I know that Mr. Rainey had what was probably a schizophrenic episode in which he was two people, and that neither one of them had any idea they were actually existing in the same body” (Secret Window 377). However, rather than schizophrenia,4 Mort is more likely suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously and perhaps more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

Happier” (Christine 253), their interconnection makes this an impossibility, leaving Arnie powerless to save himself, and while “the car frightened him sometimes . . ). While Arnie’s agency and ultimate culpability may be debatable, his misery is clear. Unlike Reverend Lowe, who happily gives himself over to the werewolf form, justifying his actions and sidestepping responsibility, Arnie is desperately unhappy. In Dennis’s final conversation with Arnie, his 36 TEACHING STEPHEN KING friend struggles to take control, as he pleads with Dennis, saying “I can’t help it .

Pet Sematary and Revival have distinct echoes of Shelley’s Frankenstein, while Cell plays with the popular cultural icon of the zombie, the living dead who arguably take their formative inspiration from Frankenstein’s Monster, though they have spread their incarnations far afield in the intervening centuries, from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) to the dystopic reality of AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010–present), as well as more insidious explorations of the animated body deprived of the Self, such as Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and its film adaptations (1956; 1978).

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