The Dark Side of Imagination: Horror Literature as a Sacred Space

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Justin David Davis (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Laura Ammon

Abstract: This work analyzes the history, themes, and tropes of various monsters within horror literature. From thesethemes, the figure of the monster can be deconstructed, revealing the hidden meanings behind their development andperpetuation in our society. Various psychoanalytic theories are used to understand the ontological construction ofthe monster, arguing that monsters are imperative in communicating the ways in which we construct and align theconcept of the self. Also, several sociological theories are employed to understand the perpetuation of the monster,arguing that monsters are indicative of the social ills of a particular society or culture. Specifically, zombies are areflection of our fear of death and our increasing tendency towards nihilism. Furthermore, werewolves reflect a basalfear of our own emotions, reveal our tendency to separate reason from emotion, and expose our fear of the “other.”Finally, these stories have the potential impact our society, as analyzed in the development, perpetuation, andabuse of folklore and fairytales in modern German culture. This work can be used to further analyze the complexrelationship between language, literature, and culture.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Davis, D.L. (2015). The Dark Side of Imagination: Horror Literature as a Sacred Space. Unpublished honors thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015

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