Analysis of "The Man Who Loved Flowers" by Stephen King

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Analysis Of “The Man Who Loved Flowers” By Stephen King

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Literary short stories are known to be difficult because the author needs to create a powerful story in order to get his main point across to his audience. It is not like a novel where they get to go in depth about the setting, the characters, the plotline and anything that can help them summerge the readers, in this case short stories need to set the reader in a world without being completely descriptive. It is up to the reader to imagine the places and location in the story. Stephen King utilizes literary devices to expand on his stories in order for him to completely focus on the suspense and horror.

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In “The Man Who Loved Flowers”, King gives us a very specific time setting; in this case being 1963. For the story and also decides to set his short story in the springtime, knowing that in most stories and films there is a connection with spring and summer love. Because Stephen King wants his audience to feel warmth and happiness for most of the story he sets the story in a bright sunny day and as the time changes the darkness takes over the story. King leaves little to the imagination when he sets the time, he talks about New York in the spring, about the colors surrounding the main character and how everyone else assumes that this character is in love because he seems truly happy. Marc Laidlaw wrote a literary criticism on Stephen King in which he praised Kings writing and his use of literary devices, these help strengthen the story and make the readers immerse themselves in the story as if it was happening in real life. Laidlaw stated that “King’s creation of atmosphere is masterful-the first irrational hint I had that anything unusual might happen terrified me as fully as the later, more logically constructed episodes.”, (Laidlaw, 311).

By this I believe laidlaw is speaking to us about setting, the use of setting and imagery can be linked to the atmosphere set in the short story. “On an early evening in May of 1963, a young man with his hand in his pocket walked briskly up New York's Third Avenue. The air was soft and beautiful, the sky was darkening by slow degrees from blue to the calm and lovely violet of dusk. There are people who love the city, and this was one of the nights that made them love it. Everyone standing in the doorways of the delicatessens and dry-cleaning shops and restaurants seemed to be smiling”, (King, 1).

Stephen King sets the audience for a nice and positive experience, If someone that did not know Kings work were to read this, they would be expecting a beautiful love story, not a short story with a dark twist at the end of it. King also utilizes repetition and alliteration in “The Man Who Loved Flowers” in order to help the stories plot twist at the end, “He swung the hammer and she didn't scream, but she might scream because she wasn't Norma, none of them were Norma, and he swung the hammer, swung the hammer, swung the hammer. She wasn't Norma and so he swung the hammer, as he had done five other times”, (King, 5).

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