In "The Thing in the Forest," when Penny and Primrose meet as adults, Primrose says, "We've got into a mystery, but we didn't make it up. It wasn't a delusion." What are some elements in the story that suggest "The Thing" was actually real and some elements that suggest it wasn't real?

In "The Thing in the Forest," some elements that suggest that "The Thing" is real are the vividness of detail in the story's descriptions, the legends of the Loathly Worm, and the women's certainty about their experience. Its existence as only imaginary is suggested by the narrator's discussion of dreams and the women's failure to encounter the creature again.

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“The Thing.” It's mysterious. It's horrible. It's the stuff of nightmares. But it is real? Penny and Primrose certainly believe they really see it when they enter the forest as two small girls and cling to each other in terror as they hide behind a fallen tree. But do they? Or are they merely imagining this strange creature? Readers may well come to different conclusions about the reality of “The Thing,” and the story provides evidence that points both ways, real and imaginary, and lets us decide the question for ourselves.

First, let's examine some evidence that suggests “The Thing” is indeed real. The sensory details surrounding its appearance are so detailed and vivid that we can hardly imagine that two little girls would be able to make them up. The girls hear the creature distinctly. It crunches, crackles, crushes, thumps, and thrashes. It gulps, boils, steams, and puffs. All other forest sounds are overtaken by its racket.

Its odor, too, encompasses everything else...

(The entire section contains 833 words.)

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