Horror Genre Discussion Questions

1)     What are the differences, if any, in the associations with "horror" versus "dark fantasy?"


2)     Why would readers want to "escape" with a genre that stimulates fear and anxiety as it considers horrible events?


3)     Some critics argue that horror fiction causes readers to think and act in unhealthy, morbid ways. How would you respond? Could this be true of other genres too?


4)     Horror often deals with two subjects that some find very distasteful--explicit sex and explicit violence. Why should the library select such controversial material? What redeeming value might it have? If you do select horror items, any special censorship planning to consider?


5)     Is horror more likely to appeal to male readers, e.g. men like violence while women do not? Why? Is horror an anti-feminist genre since women are often victims?


6)     What relationship, if any, to you see between violence in real life as reported in the mass media and interest in horror fiction? Between horror film and horror books?


7)     Is horror fiction really more about shock value than telling a good story?



Courtesy of Professor William C. Robinson {wrobins1@utk.edu}



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