Pet Sematary, or Stephen King Re-Appropriating the Frankenstein Myth
Miquel Baldellou, Marta
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The horror bestseller writer Stephen King has been acknowledged for updating the fundamental motifs of the horror story to suit the taste of contemporary audiences. In his seminal work Danse Macabre (1981), devoted to discussing the intricacies of horror fiction, King pays homage to great classics of
the genre, ultimately confessing his admiration for the nineteenth-century novel Frankenstein (1818), which presents many intertextual links with his own novel Pet Sematary (1983). The plot in King's novel runs parallel to that of Mary Shelley, as it also depicts the life of a doctor, Louis Creed, who decides to trespass forbidden limits in order to bring his beloved departed back to life. In both cases, these two scientists dare defy the powers of the unknown, playing God in an increasingly atheist and too scientifically based society. However, if Victor Frankenstein achieves his purpose as a result of his scientific obsession, Louis Creed's sin is precisely rooted in his scepticism with regard to faith and religion. This paper aims at analysing both works from a comparative perspective in order to underline how the gothic and the sinister is treated and is transformed from Shelley's classic to King's contemporary novel.