The essay “My Creature from the Black Lagoon” by Stephen King is a fascinating analysis of the film of the same name. King delves into the violence that ispresent in the film, and how it affects the viewer. He also discusses how the film’s depiction of creatures can be seen as an allegory for race relations in America.
King’s essay is both insightful and thought-provoking. It is clear that he has a deep understanding of violence in film, and how it can affect viewers. His discussion of race relations in America is also very interesting, and provides a different perspective on the film. Overall, this is a great essay that provides a lot of food for thought.
In Stephen King’s “My Creature from the Black Lagoon,” children and adults are compared and contrasted in terms of how they deal with fear, particularly as depicted in film. His major point is that both adults and children suffer due to a focus on the film, which focuses all feelings on the unrealistic aspects of it, and there is no logical thinking about the unreality. In other words
He begins his essay by discussing how, as a child, he was terrified of the film The Creature From the Black Lagoon. He goes on to say that, as an adult, he can see how ridiculous the movie is and how there is nothing to be afraid of. He attributes this change in perspective to the fact that children do not have the same level of experience as adults. Adults are able to see through the facade of the movie and understand that it is not real.
King then goes on to discuss how violence in movies is often more upsetting to adults than it is to children. He argues that this is because adults are able to see the reality behind the violence. They know that people do not actually die when they are shot on screen. Children, on the other hand, are still focused on the movie and do not realize that it is not real.
The degree of detachment varies, however, among children and adults. Children are more easily influenced than adults, with a greater degree of separation. Santa Claus is one of the examples King gives for kids who believe that he can shrink himself down to fit through tiny gaps in order to enter a home (CH 6).
However, as soon as they find out that this is not true, their attachment to him shatters. On the other hand, adults are able to make a connection with the characters in films and books on a much deeper level. They can suspend disbelief and enjoy the story for what it is. King believes that this is because adults have a better understanding of fantasy and are able to separate it from reality.
While King makes some valid points, he fails to take into account the fact that some children are able to do the same thing. There are many children who are able to understand that Santa Claus is not real but still enjoy the idea of him. There are also many adults who are unable to suspend disbelief and enjoy a story for what it is. So, while King’s analysis may hold true for some people, it is not universally applicable.
King compares the brains of a child and an adult to demonstrate the varying levels of resilience that children and adults may have when confronted with the horror genre. He characterizes his finds as a paradox, stating, “Children who are physically quite weak yet manage to lift the burden of disbelief” (PP 118). King concludes that since the mind of an adult is more developed, it can endure graphic representations from within the horror category while children are able to resist pressure.
In other words, children are more resilient when it comes to horror. An adult’s mind is consumed with reality and exaggerated fears of what could happen if they were to watch a horror film. They allow their imaginations to run rampant with images of death, dismemberment, and all around gore which in turn creates a snowball effect of terror.
On the other hand, kids “have an ability to believe that what they are seeing on the screen is not real” (King PP 118). In addition, they have not had as much time to be exposed to violence through different channels such as the news or movies outside of the horror genre which makes it easier for them to suspend disbelief. Therefore, since they lack real world experience with violence, they are more likely to believe that what they are seeing is not real and that nothing bad will happen to them as a result of watching.
King argues that the reason why adults are more scared of horror movies than children is because they have a “deeper understanding of consequences” (PP 118). In other words, they know that if something bad happens in a movie, it could also happen in real life. They understand that people can die, get hurt, or be traumatized as a result of watching something violent. On the other hand, kids do not yet have this level of understanding and therefore are not as afraid.
King backed up his idea with an analysis of Walt Disney’s films and their influence on a youngster’s fantasy. When comparing the burden of horrible events in children and adult minds, Stephen King identified Bambi as the film that best represented this. When adults when they were younger, King asked them what was most frightening about a movie, and they said, “Bambi’s father shot by the hunter or Bambi and his mother running ahead of the forest fire,” (PP 119).
Even though these adults had experienced World War II and the Vietnam War, they still found Bambi more traumatizing than any of those events. The reason being is that when children watch a film, they are not yet equipped with the mental ability to understand that it is not real. Adults have this knowledge and can therefore tell the difference between fantasy and reality. This conclusion leads Stephen King to his next claim in which he argues that children who see violence in films will be more likely to imitate what they see on the screen.
King provides evidence for his argument by referencing a study done by Dr. Thomas Radecki and Dr. David Ross. In this study, two groups of children were shown different types of movies, some with high amounts of violence and some with little to no violence. The children who saw the movies with high amounts of violence were significantly more likely to imitate the aggressive behavior they had seen on the screen. King goes on to say that even though the study has been criticized, it still provides valuable information about the effects of violent movies on children.
The essay ends with King giving his own personal opinion on the matter. He states that he does not think all violence in movies is bad, but there should be a limit to how much is shown. He also believes that parents need to be more aware of what their children are watching. Overall, Stephen King makes a strong argument for why he believes children should not be exposed to too much violence in films.
In conclusion, Stephen King argues that children and adults experience fear differently when watching movies. Adults are able to see through the facade of the movie and understand that it is not real. Children, on the other hand, are still focused on the movie and do not realize that it is not real. This difference in perspective is what allows for children to be more afraid of movies than adults.