The novel Pet Semetary by Stephen King is definitely a well researched novel. A lot of research must have had been done on the Micmac Indians because King describes and uses them frequently in his novel. He uses facts which can be proved and make the story more interesting. He uses real life facts about cemeteries which make the book a little more scary. Since the novel is a horor story, if the facts were to be fictional, it would make the story unbelievable and not as scary.
The soil in cemeteries are only good for corpses as King explains in his novel. In his novel he refers to gravestons and pyramids as great monuments to death, which is true. Pyramids were often used to bury great rulers. They still stand to this day, and people's tombs can also still be found in them. "And they built pyramids too. No one knows for sure what the Mayan pyramids are for - navigation and chronography...but we know damn well what the Egyption pyramids were...great monuments to death." (King 136) In his novel he discribes how in cemeteries, the farther you move into them, the older the gravestones and how fewer and fewer of the inscriptions can be read. "Moving inward, the pet graves became older; few and fewer of the inscriptions could be read but those that could yielded a rough timline extending into the past. (King 44) The reason for this is because weather has eroded them. King also states that in his novel when he explains the layout of the pet cemetary.
The reason for most cemeteries being places where they are is usually because the soil there is not good for farming, or is just too rocky. "Ground's stony, Jud repeated. Couldn't plant nothing but corpses anyway, I guess" (King 45). Cemeteries are arranged in patterns, and the memorials are arranged in many different ways and styles. "Louis notices that the place did not just seem to have a sense of order, a pattern; the memorials had been arranged in rough concentric circles" (King 43). You will usually see flowers along the gravestones which are comon objects that are brought as a gift. "Some of the graves were marked with flowers, some fresh, most old." (King 43) In King's novel, the pet cemetary is decorated with flowers and presents.
Burial grounds were and still are considered sacred to many people. "Burial grounds were considered sacred."(Sarapin 3) In some tribes, it was the custom to visit the graves once a year to hold a feast and to remove the grass from the surrounding area. Many rituals were held (Sarapin 3) Most burial grounds are accociated with either a church, temple, or meeting house, being build behind or on the sides of them. They are affiliated with religious institution (Sarapin 4) The Micmac indians were known to of practiced elaborate ceremonies. Masks, drum and beater, and rattles were used in them (World Book).
National cemeteries are either located in sites of historical importance or they are designated because prominent colonial citizens of soldiers from many states and different wars are burried there. (Sarapin 5) It is illegal to build on top of a burial ground. A burial ground, by definition, need contain only a single marker and graves to become restricted property. (Sarapin 6) Vandalism is a more difficult problem, then thought the laws against it are clear. (Sarapin 6) In King's novel, no matter how much people hated the pet cemetary and didn't want their children to go there, they could not get rid of it even if they wanted to.
Cemeteries all around the world are filled with myths and ghost stories. In King's novel fear is an important aspect. "They made this place, and they buried their dead here away from everything else. Other tribes steered clear of it. The Penobscots said these woods were full of ghosts" (King 137). If King didn't use real facts in his novel to scare people, it would make it a boring story. But since they are all true and believable facts, according to my research, his reader feels fear since the facts are true. King uses the Micmac burial ground as the secret cemetery in his novel. The Micmac burial grounds were real, and so were the Micmacs. There is a Micmac burial ground in Maine, which is where the story takes place. When comparable to real life, novels are more important to the reader.
King's novel uses true statements which are very important to the reader. King's novels are very interesting and can compared to real life situations very easily. Pet Semetary is a very well researched novel for the following reasons: It took deep researching methods to find out the facts that King found for example, finding out myths about the Micmac Indian tribe. King had to find facts on Maine (where King lives), and the Micmac Indian tribe that lived in that area. He had to research burial methods, ceremonies of the indians, and the living styles of the Micmacs. King also had to even find myths about the Micmac Indian tribe which must have taken deep researching. Pet Semetary by Stephen King is definitely a very well researched novel.
Berrill, Margaret. Mummies, Masks, and Mourners. New York: Penguin Books. 1990.
Duval, Francis, and Rigby, Ivan. Early American Gravestones Art in Photographs. New York: Dover Publications, 1977.
King, Stephen. Pet Semetary. New York: Penguin Books, 19 83 .
Marion, John Francis. Famous and Curious Cemeteries. New York: Crown Publishing, 1977.
Sarapin, Janice Kohl. Old Burial Grounds of New Jersey. Lo nd on: Br iti sh Ca tal ogi ng, 19 94 .
Wolfe, Laurence. "Stereotombs." Stereo World, January /Februa ry 1987, 5-14.