It Essay, Research Paper
Stephen King is the brilliant author that wrote It, a dazzling work featuring a number of rhetorical devices which work to support a number of themes. He wrote the novel in Bangor, Maine over a period of four years beginning in 1981 and ending in 1985, and is also renowned for his horror stories through out America. He has dabbled in other types of fiction as well including e-books and the Dark Tower Series which will contain nearly 5000 pages of text if ever completed.
It was essentially two stories that paralleled each other, a past and a present, that King switches between, often without warning. The novel focuses on the “loser’s club” and their epic battle with their nemesis It. The “loser’s club”, formed in 1958, includes a stutterer, Bill Denbrough; a fat kid, Ben Hanscom; an abused girl, Beverly Marsh; a mama’s boy, Eddie Kaspbrack; a Jewish kid, Stanley Uris; a black kid, Mike Hanlon; and an annoying loud mouth, Richie Tozier. Through pomp and circumstance they uncover an innate evil that has infused itself to the small town of Derry, Maine. This evil is fluid revealing itself to each member in the form of their greatest fear. Each must overcome their doubts and show themselves that they’re not “losers”. As children they are only strong enough to drive It away for a while, but in the parallel, 27 years later, they finally defeat It, hopefully for good.
Mr. King uses a number of allusions to off-handedly fore-shadow events in his story and make us more introspective. “He saw the shape behind the shape, saw lights, saw an endless crawling hairy thing which was made of light and nothing else, orange light, dead light that mocked life.”, is an example of one of Stephen’s allusions. He is trying to get us to look at ourselves and ask are we living life to it’s fullest or are we just another “deadlight”. The sentence alludes to the trials the characters have faced, but is designed to stimulate our minds and motivate
us. Another quote to support this theme is, “You can’t be careful on a skateboard, man.” The skateboard is clearly a metaphor for life and the sentence is telling us that risk-taking is just a part of living.
King, being the elusive author he is, felt it necessary to give us a key to understanding this novel. In the front of the book just after the dedication is written this, “Fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists.” To simplify his theme into three words, “the magic exists”, is an incredible understatement of the ideas expressed in the book. Through out the entire novel symbolism plays a huge role, whether intended or not, especially with regards to the turtle and It. Using the little quote as a key to decipher the meaning of each is quite simple. The turtle and It are the fiction, their actual existence a lie, but their symbolic existence is the truth. They are good and evil waging a constant war upon one another. The “magic exists” portion is a little bit tricky though. I think the magic is that no matter what we do evil will always survive, but so will good. The magic is the way nature balances these forces so gracefully. However, I think it is somewhat cowardly to explain this by using the term magic, but I can’t prove him wrong. Magic is often used to describe things we don’t understand, but if the question is one which can never be answered is it magic?
Stephen King has had a major influence on American culture and will likely be read for a long time. The book It in particular was an interesting tale of survival which had a strong meaning thematically and definitely forged new links on the ever growing chain of thoughts.