The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Rhetoric and Writing: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Matthew Barton

Second Advisor

Sharon Cogdill

Third Advisor

Judith Dorn

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

horror, zombies, monleon, romero, gothic, grotesque


This is an essay synthesizing the sociohistorical Gothic theory of Jose Monleon and a theory of the grotesque developed by Edwards & Graulund, as applied to Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero. The study begins with a series of general theoretical and synthetic treatments of the horror genre culminating in a consideration of the two-act theory of horror operation, and proceeds with an application of this theoretical framework to the film Night of the Living Dead. This analysis concludes that embedded within this film is an opportunity for critical address for the social circumstances of its emergence, and that this potential may be generalizable to other works in the horror genre. The work closes with a general discussion of findings and concepts for further analysis.