Presence Of A Child In Stephen King's Literature

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The presence of a child in Stephen King’s novels must be understood as a collapse of American family structure. King uses them to show the imperfection of adults. They hold diverse positions when it comes to being the instrument of evil and destruction. In his other books children are depicted as the little zombie animals, in some others as the helpless victims of a malevolent entity or the adults and in some as the innocent creatures controlled by malicious spirit itself. King’s child protagonists are kept apart from the children of their age as consequence of their unstable home environment and their supernatural abilities which may be dormant or active. Carrie White (Carrie), Danny Torrance (Shining) and Charlie (Firestarter) are shown to…show more content…
It has been researched that children born into hostile or unfavorable home environment often show a remarkable maturity and understanding of the emotional set up of the outside world. Danny Torrance, through his psychic ability to hear other’s thoughts, is aware from the very beginning the huge, unspoken distance between his parents. He is aware that his mother is bearing to live with his father out of her love for her son. In chapter 6 of The Shining the narrator says: “The greatest terror of Danny 's life was DIVORCE, a word that always appeared in his mind as a sign painted in red letters which were covered in hissing, poisonous snakes." (The Shining, 30) Danny wonders if he would leave things would get better for his parents. The parents don’t appreciate the knowledge their son possesses as it disrupts their intellectual authority over their child. As explained in ‘The Gothic Child’, ‘excess feelings of bitterness’ prevail when a child is deserted by ‘their immoral, neglectful parents’ (Georgieva: 2013, p. xi). This links directly to Danny’s relationship with his father, as the possibility of Jack’s alcoholism and aggressive tendencies resulting in divorce is ‘the greatest terror of Danny’s life’, and in the source of great anxiety for him. This is further suggested as Danny first unlocks his psychic abilities whilst sensing the extreme strain on his parents’ marriage and “desperately… concentrating to understand” (Shining 40), further reiterating the relationship between neglectful familial relationships and the child’s susceptibility to the
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