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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stephen King: Carrie pp 26-100

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The several major confrontations that are detailed within this section of pages of the book are as eye opening in the framework of the story as anything else. The first mentioning of the incident involving things falling from the sky on the White household when Carrie was three years old. The confrontation between school principal and Chris Hargensen father, an almost David and Goliath battle that David apparently comes out on top. The short and sharp confrontation between Chris and Sue at the soda fountain, where Sue stands up against popular opinion for the first time in her life. And the moments between Carrie and her mother, as assertive control in the relationship begins to slip from the grasp of one and become stronger in the other. All of these resonate throughout these pages. As Carrie begins to understand her powers she is increasing her ability with them.
Perhaps the part of the story that doesn't quite ring true for me is the Sue and Tommy relationship, and that Sue asks Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. Really? No matter how bad someone was feeling about what they may have done to someone, would they actually ask their boyfriend to take another girl? While I can roll along with this premise when reading the book, it feels a bit too convenient for the plot for me if I was to be critical of it.

What this section of the book did most for me was make me think about my own childhood, and the bullying that I was involved in, both on the receiving end and -  somewhat shamefully on any reflection - the handing out end. For many years I guess I have thought that what I had been involved in was kids teasing another kid, that's all. The teasing involved one particular girl by a group of which I was a part of, and though I would like to hint that my role was a 'minor' one, in the way that Sue Snell's role may be considered a minor role in the shower with Carrie White, that could in fact only be what my mind recalls, and not what the person involved thought at all. Indeed, unfortunately for the girl in question, she also had her first period at a very inconvenient time, during an English class in Year 7, an extraordinarily embarrassing time for her, and one that no doubt was mentioned on later occasions in her (and let's not mince words) bullying. I have no idea how much bullying this girl received, though I am somewhat sure that the few people in the group that I was involved in were not the only ones who teased and humiliated her. She eventually changed schools because of this. And that is a sad indictment on a number of people.
“In the wake of two hundred deaths and the destruction of an entire town, it is so easy to forget one thing: We were kids. We were kids. We were kids trying to do our best. . . .”
Excerpt From: King, Stephen. “Carrie.” Random House, Inc., 1974-08-15T07:00:00+00:00. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
These words rang strong with me, but only to the point that I feel that, with my own experience, they are a cop out. Sure, the person of our own bullying didn't come complete with telekenesis and then wreak her revenge on us. She was simply forced to move schools to escape us. And maybe we were only kids at that time. But it doesn't make what we did right. And all I can do now is ensure that my kids never repeat the mistakes I made, 
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