Everybody has one : Stephen King and the Jungian shadow.

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Frazier, Thomas
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Middle Tennessee State University
Regardless of his cavalier comments about his concern for critical acceptance, Stephen King utilizes his fiction to include his readers in his search for validation for himself and his works. In four works which are King's most metafictional--The Shining (1977), Misery (1987), The Dark Half (1989), and "Secret Window, Secret Garden" (1990)--he makes his readers witnesses to his conflict with his artistic shadow. King's admission that he considers himself Jungian in temperament displays itself in his use of Jungian archetypes.
Through the trials of the writer protagonists he creates for his metafiction, King creates reader interest in the psychological investment writers must make in their art. In each case, the protagonist must prove to himself if he can write and that what he writes is worth the effort. Two of the protagonists, Paul Sheldon of Misery and Thad Beaumont of The Dark Half, succeed, while two, Jack Torrance of The Shining and Mort Rainey of "Secret Window, Secret Garden," do not. Through his ability to create successful texts involving two types of writers as protagonists, King validates his ability to tell a story.
Chapters I and II are general discussions of King's writing theory and his use of writer protagonists in his pre-metafictionan texts--Salem's Lot (1975), "The Body" (1982), and It (1986). Chapter III discusses the severity of writer's block as depicted in The Shining. Chapter IV examines the reader-writer dynamic as seen in Misery. Chapter V presents King's concern with the uncontrolled imagination as he presents in The Dark Half. Chapter VI explores plagiarism, the destroyer of any writer, as in "Secret Window, Secret Garden.".
Although King has announced that "Secret Window, Secret Garden" is his last work dealing with writers and writing, he has yet to receive the complete validation that he seeks or to provide closure for writer/writing component of his literary career.
Advisers: Linda Badley; Robert Petersen.