Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King: Short Story Review

"Here There Be Tygers" is a short -- very short -- story from Stephen King's "Skeleton Crew." To be honest, I think the story is meant to speak to men and their boyhood journeys to the boys' bathroom in school. I say that because I can only imagine that there was something about the boys' bathroom that led Stephen King to write this unlikely story in which the antagonists are a teacher and a tiger.

A few things about this story are relatable. 1. The teacher knowingly embarrasses a child in front of the entire class. 2. The child is afraid to ask to go to the bathroom. 3. The child's inner dialogue switches between panic and inappropriate names for his mean teacher. All of these things are instantly recognizable from most of our childhoods. There were also a few things that were not quite understandable. 1. Is the boy confusing basement with bathroom or is he obsessing over the basement while going to the bathroom? 2. Is the boy's imagination overactive or are the of this world, but really odd events in the story actually taking place?

"Here There By Tygers" is so short and encased in such a wonderful short story anthology that one barely has time to question Stephen King before moving on to "The Monkey," which has haunted me since my teenage years. However, once you get the chance to sit back and think of it, assuming you remembered it after poring through the rest of "Skeleton Crew," you can't help but wonder about deeper meaning. I mean, there has to be a deeper meaning, right or did that just really happen in a school bathroom?!?!?!?! At least, was King trying to convey that it really happened or was he masking some kind of . . . Oh, forget it. One can only speculate. It will only take two minutes. Read it yourself and please tell me what you think.

Shelly Barclay

8 comments:

  1. It is nice short story. I like it. It is something simple and there is something to thinking of.

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  3. It's not that nice...it's the story of a budding sociopath who has invented a fantasy alter-ego, the tiger, to whom he can abdicate the responsibility for killing the people who make him angry (or just imagining it...for now, anyway). Heard of Apron "Pissy" Coleman - the lonely, abused kid who was picked on at school for wetting his pants, and developed into a serial killer who simply hated people. This short story brings to mind the grim reality of rage, developing into something dangerous in a young child racing headlong into mental illness.

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  4. It's not that nice...it's the story of a budding sociopath who has invented a fantasy alter-ego, the tiger, to whom he can abdicate the responsibility for killing the people who make him angry (or just imagining it...for now, anyway). Heard of Alton "Pissy" Coleman - the lonely, abused kid who was picked on at school for wetting his pants, and developed into a serial killer who simply hated people. This short story brings to mind the grim reality of rage, developing into something dangerous in a young child racing headlong into mental illness.

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  5. Stephen King did not write "Here There Be Tygers" - Ray Bradbury did.

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    1. Sorry, but you're only half correct. Both Ray Bradbury and Stephen King wrote shorts with the same name.

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  6. Ok so did the teacher and Kenny get eaten? Or was everything in his head? I still don't get the basement reference.

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    1. I don't know. I've never been able to work out the ending or the basement reference.

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