Exploring What Makes Stories Dark Fantasy

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Dark Fantasy Essay 1

Tobias Mccurry

Professor Kimberly Jacobs

HM 214

Dark Fantasy Essay

Exploring What Makes Stories Dark Fantasy

September 2, 2006

Dark Fantasy Essay 2

Exploring What Makes Stories Dark Fantasy

There are many elements that make a story dark fantasy. The book classifies it as "stories of horror, fear, the unknown, the supernatual, and death" (Roberts 31). I usually see it as it starts off like a normal story but has a twist that includes one of these dark fantasy elements. The twist is what makes the story so interesting and dark. I am going to discuss the twist from what seems like a normal story to one of dark fantasy.

The first story I want to discuss how the twist change a normal story into a dark fantasy story is The Monkey's Paw Harper's Magazine, vol. 105, September 1902 (Roberts 95). It starts off old friends talking and remembering old times.

Herbert White asks his friend Sergeant Major Morris about a monkey paw he found. It is just to be some little trinket that is harmless and give it poser a three wishes. The Sergeant Major told his friend it is no good and tossed it on the fire. Mr. White picks it up and thinks he can use its "luck". Mr. White thought making a wish could not cause any harm so, he wished for enough money to pay off the house. The twist is how the wish had to be granted. The next morning the elderly couple get a knock at the door of there house. A man from their son's work had showed up at their house to inform them of an accident. The accident had involved their son and the company wanted to give them money to help with the death. The amount of money was the exact amount they needed to pay off the house. So even though it was a simple wish for money it had a bad outcome.

The second story was The Three Marked Pennies Weird Tales, August 1934 (Roberts 120). The story is about a contest with three distinctly marked pennies. Each penny meant a different prize and one of them was certain death. The people in the story are afraid to have any of the coins because it

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could mean death to them. So the contest comes to an end and then comes the twist. The first prize that was given out was to a blind beggar; she was given a steamship ticket for a world tour. The second prize was 100,000 dollars; a man with cancer and only a month to live. The last prize was death hidden in a silver box; was given to a kid that had life in front of him. The twist was the prizes were awarded to individuals that really had no use for them.

The third story was The Lottery The New Yorker, June 26, 1948 (Roberts 134). The story is yearly tradition that seems like any other town traditions. Every one would gather in the town square for the ceremony. The elder men of each family go up first to find out what family is the lottery family. At this point it seems like nothing real bad, just like the family that has to host a dance or something. Then the twist starts. Each family member has to drawn papers. The one with the black spot on the paper is the lottery winner. Here the twist is; the winner is stoned to death.

The twist in normal stories makes them into dark fantasy stories. The story just seems to be leading one way and then the twist comes. The twist will change the reader's perspective of the characters of the story sometimes completely. Most of the time the story leads the reader in the wrong direction to switch it to surprise the reader and bring the reader back again and again.

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Works Cited

Roberts, Garyn. The Prentice Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003.