Stephen King Essay

2366 words - 9 pages

Stephen King is known by many as a successful author, but every author is only as good as his or her works. King has produced various types of works such as short stories, novels, novellas, screenplays, and comics. His work has been the “most important bridge between the horror genre and literary respectability from the late 1960s and 1970s up to the present time” (Hoppenstand 3). Stephen Edwin King was born September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine. He is the second son of Donald Edwin and Nellie Ruth King. When King was two years old, his father, a captain in the merchant marines, went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned. Nellie, King’s mother, raised King and his adopted older brother David. The family under the care of Nellie experienced many hardships and moved often as she looked for work. The family lived in Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. When King was six years old, the family finally settled in Stratford, Connecticut (Hoppenstand 8; Stephen King).
In 1958, when King was eleven years old, the family moved to Durham, Maine. This was where King discovered that he had something in common with his father. In the attic of his aunt and uncle’s garage he discovered an old trunk that contained a box of his father’s books, including some by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, and some of his father’s attempts as writing short stories. King’s teachers reported that one of his greatest passions was writing stories of his own, which he started doing at age six (Hoppenstand 8; Stephen King). Stephen King’s life has influenced his works and served as an important source of inspiration, which is evident in his education and early writing experiences, his pseudonym Richard Bachman, and his near-fatal accident with a van.
First it is evident that King’s life has influenced his works and served as an important source of inspiration is with his education and early writing experiences. King graduated from Lisbon Falls High School in 1966 and enrolled at the University of Maine in Orono that same year. At the University of Maine, he pursued a degree in English. He also wrote a column, “King’s Garbage Truck” for the campus newspaper, The Maine Campus, and submitted short stories to various publications. In 1967, King made his first professional sale when Startling Mystery Stories purchased his short story “The Glass Floor” for thirty-five dollars (Hoppenstand 8-9). In the introduction of the reprinted version of “The Glass Floor” in Weird Tales, King gives his audience his own self-criticism when he claims: “The first few pages are clumsy and badly written-clearly the product of an unformed story-teller’s mind-but the last bit pays off better than I remembered” (King “The Glass Floor” 36). “The Glass Floor” cleverly explores the character of Charles Wharton, who wishes to see the place where his sister Janine died. Janie’s late husband Anthony Reynard, refuses to allow Charles to see the sealed room. Eventually Charles...

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