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Horror: A study on Cliver Barker part 4, The Yattering and Jack.

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 328

@Jupie (Since you are a fan of this story, I've tagged you.)

Summary: Both comical and a comedy (there is a difference), The Yattering and Jack is one of the most memorable short stories from Books of Blood. In the Yattering and Jack, The Yattering is a minor demon bent on driving Jack Polo insane. Jack, who is aware of the demon, plays ignorant and goes about his daily life as if nothing is wrong. In the end, Jack is able to drive the demon to the point of insanity and enslave it (The irony).

Notes: First, I wanted to highlight a passage I found rather enjoying and serves as a good illustration of Show vs Tell.

In lesser hands, this would be telling: "Jack had loving and fun daughters who he had missed very much."

Showing (written by Clive Barker): "They came into the house with their bustle and laughter; they rearranged the furniture; they threw out the junkfood in the freezer, they told each other (and their father) how much they had missed each other's company." (Page 50).

This is a very warm-felt passage, and best of all, it is rather simple and easy to read.

The second thing that I wanted to note, there is a very simple moral to this story. In most of Clive Barker's tales, there is always a character that is striving for some great pleasure or escape. It is through the character's desires that the horror in the stories begins. Jack, however, is a simple man who is completely content with his life. Even after he enslaves the demon and is able to get anything he wants, Jack simply states that all he want is "...love for his children, a pleasant home, and a good trading price for gherkins." (Page 63.)

I believe it because of Jack's simple taste and desires in life that he is able to escape the horrendous torments that Clive Barker tends to put his other characters through, and in this, a valuable lesson for us writers can be learned. Sometimes the MC causes their own horror and hardship.

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