Stephen King is known by his grotesque movies and recognizable writing. In his piece, “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” he explains the human races’ need to watch other people being tortured, mutilated, and eventually killed. King uses two opposing tones in his essay to create an atmosphere that is both humorous and serious. People want to see other people being menaced. This desire has led us to become hidden psychopaths. King establishes that we all laugh at sick jokes because we are crazy, or “mentally ill.” His use of an actual joke in the essay changes his tome to humorous. Although he states that such jokes should not be comical, he reassures his message that we are mentally ill. And by including the ‘gators’ reference, he is making a humorous statement to keep it light. He adds serious tone into his essay to keep it from becoming too comical. He wants people to read his essay and acknowledge that what he is writing is true without them being put off. He switches from comical to somber when he begins to write about “love, friendship, loyalty, and kindness” and how these emotions are all accepted in a civilized society. These emotions, however, are not included in horror films. This reassures that people are truly insane. But he redeems us and out sickness by telling why we go: “to re-establish our feelings of essential normality.” The mixture of grim and laughable tones in his essay allow him to establish his message without being too humorous for people to not take his seriously, and not too serious to make us all seem a crazy. Stephen King’s juxtaposition of a humorous and grim tone in his essay creates an atmosphere for everyone’s taste. He has the serious tone for the serious person, and he peppers in some funny yet sick elements for the more flippant person. King used these two tones to create a unique essay that appeals to everyone while still getting his point across.
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