The question of value: Reading Stephen King in a literary context

Commons, Wendy
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On November 19, 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded best-selling author Stephen King the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. A number of scholarly elitists, including renowned critic Harold Bloom, vehemently condemned the National Book Foundation's decision to offer such a prestigious award to a popular fiction writer like King. I contest, however, that popular writing is not always unintelligent or inartistic and that King's writing is an example of popular fiction that also has literary value. My goal in this thesis is to examine some of the universal elements in King's works and perform an in-depth literary analysis of one of King's novels, The Shining, in order to demonstrate a sampling of qualities that make King's work worthy of literary recognition and examination.

Popular literature, Criticism and interpretation, Language, literature, and linguistics, American literature, Speculative fiction analysis