When Steven King releases a new novel it is bound to be one of the scariest works of literature around. King's books, filled with images of deformed dolls and haunted houses, strike fear in the hearts of his readers. King's writing appeals to our senses, torturing and manipulating them to create a sense of fear. We are horrified immediately following the reading of a scary line, but that sensation only last for a minute until we are brought back to reality. We know that what we just read is not about to happen and is completely fiction so we get on with our lives. While the high we get from this sensual fear alters our senses, it is the horror of reality that strikes true fear into people. Most of the time we can clearly see this horror, but the true horror comes when a nightmare exist right in front of our eyes, yet we are blinded to it until someone comes along and reveals it to us. These prophetic voices, like writers such as William Blake and Mary Shelly, open our eyes to the horrors of reality, but they do so in a subtle way. In neither of their writings do these authors expressly condemn certain aspects of society, but rather make these horrors known, leaving it up to the reader to make their own decisions. Through the readings of Frankenstein and the Songs of Innocence and Experience, the reader must bring in their own sense in order to begin to see the horrors that are hidden from most of society.
[...] In this way Shelly never has Victor renounce his belief in science, thereby not revealing her true opinion of the topic, but rather bringing to light the possibilities of science. Given that both authors keep their true feelings of their subjects hidden to the readers, the task of forming our opinions is left up to ourselves. While reading Blake's poems, it is impossible not to bring in your own experiences into his words. I can remember connecting Blake's description of London to my experiences walking through New York or Boston, seeing the poor and homeless on the street corners. [...]
[...] Her prophetic voice resonates even stronger when you consider the work future scientists such as Alfred Nobel and Albert Einstein. By forcing the reader to interpret and analyze the different situations for themselves, they are able to gain true “appreciation” and understanding of the horrors. After reading these works, we are now equipped with the knowledge of such horrors which can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, we are now able to recognize and try and correct horrors that were hidden from us before, but on the other, we now are forced to live with the knowledge that these horrors exist in reality, and are not simply confined to our nightmares. [...]
[...] Blake and Shelly use their characters to discuss different horrors of the time, but even their characters never give their full opinion. For instance, throughout Blake's poems he rarely uses his own voice to describe the different plights of people. In both Chimney-Sweeper” and Little Black the narrator is a young boy. In the poems where Blake uses his own voice he does it as an outside observer, not as a character who has been crushed by society. In his poem Blake describes his wandering down a chartered street where he sees horrific sights like blood running down palace-walls and the crying of infants. It is obvious to anyone reading the poem that the idea of seeing blood running down walls is terrible, but Blake fails to force his opinion onto the reader. [...]
[...] While it is true that horror can be found in movies and books, it does not remain entrenched in the human mind until it is discovered in reality. Many horrors, such as murder and rape, are easily seen by the majority of the population; however, there exist atrocities which go unnoticed on a daily basis. For this reason, we need the “prophetic voices” of writers to shed light on the situation. These writers “stain the water to use a Blake phrase, in that they enlighten the clear and innocent minds of people to the horrors of the real world. [...]
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