Due: March 5, 2015
A Mother’s Influence
Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, is the story of a girl who uncovers her unique ability on her path to womanhood and power. Stephen King wrote his story about Carrie three years after he graduated from college. During the 1970s, while King was in college, he was transformed by the idea of Women’s Liberation and how it would influence both males and females. King used interstitial, grotesque, sexual, gender, power, and violent literary elements with components of the European and American gothic genre to create a Supernatural Horror/Drama that reflected on life during the time period.
Carrie White was raised ...view middle of the document...
For this reason, she was suspended three days and her prom ticket stripped from her, a travesty for someone of her social class. Chris Hargensen blamed Carrie for what transpired and it intensified her hate for Carrie. Sue Snell, another popular girl, sympathized with Carrie and felt responsibility for her role in Carrie’s embarrassment. Sue suggested to Tommy, her boyfriend and lover, that he ask Carrie to the Spring Prom. He agreed to the plan spurred by Sue’s guilt and Carrie accepted reluctantly.
Midway through the Prom, Tommy and Carrie were having a wonderful time together. Carrie looked beautiful in her homemade dress and people responded well to her, but another plan was in place. Chris Hargensen’s devised a plan with her boyfriend, Billy Nolan, to ruin Carrie’s prom and embarrass her one more time. As Tommy and Carrie were announced King and Queen, they were doused in pig blood by two buckets from the rafters. The bucket that struck Tommy killed him. Carrie fled the gym embarrassment, where her telekinetic powers took over. She closed the door to trap everyone inside. Next, she broke the water lines and electrocuted the student and faculty inside. Then, she escaped to her house leaving a trail of destruction. She used her powers to stop her mother’s heart. Her next targets were Chris and Billy. She wrecked their car, killing them both. Then, her body became weak. Carrie died lying in Sue Snell’s arms.
Carrie was a monster. Noel Carroll defines a monster as someone who violates the natural order, where the perimeter of natural order is determined by contemporary science. (Carroll 1987) Chamberlain’s response to Carrie following the Spring Dance is evidence of her characterization as a monster. The fear of the city’s citizens was driven by their inability to comprehend Carrie’s power. Stephen King’s description of Chamberlain and the societal structure throughout the city depicted normalcy. The setting and characters presented a realistic view of what it would’ve been like to live in a small city during the 1970s. For example, the administration and students at Ewan Consolidated High School faced similar struggles those found at high schools everywhere. Also, girls faced common struggles in regards to their sexuality. The obvious outliers within Chamberlain were the Whites.
Margaret Chamberlain’s estranged childhood was caused by her strong adherence to her religious beliefs. Her beliefs also caused a profound impact on Carrie’s childhood. Carrie’s upbringing was further complicated by her supernatural ability to perform telekinesis and the absence of her father, Ralph White. Her adolescent life starkly contrasted others in the community, leaving them unable to relate. The community’s inability to understand the White’s family dynamic and Carrie’s telekinetic abilities defined her perception as a monster. The White Commission Report detailed the accounts of Carrie’s terror. The State Investigatory Report of Maine quickly deemed what...