Often the most effective way to excite one’s senses when reading horror fiction is by revealing a terror that we as humans see within ourselves. This principle is what gives Stephen King’s novel Carrie its legacy. The story of a girl whose own birth is a mystery, her life becoming even more secluded from there, Carrie is tormented by peers for her social and physical differences and is on the tipping point when she hits puberty at the latent age of 17. Her classmates, led by Chris Hargensen, take a prank too far when a bucket of blood is dumped on Carrie just following her election to Prom Queen. Carrie, now fully matured and advanced in her gift of telekinesis, enters a rage and kills over 400 people, namely Chris and her own mother, and later dying herself.. The incident is used as a platform for research on telekinesis and a crack-down on bullying.
King, as he will often do in many of his highly-acclaimed books, draws readers in with the gore and violence of a stereotypical horror novel. He then gives the book its singularity through its revealing of certain flaws in human nature, and fears found within the deepest core of souls. King touches on problems in the human psyche such as the need to ostracize those who are different and the emptiness of feeling alone. He also shows the effect a parent has on their child through Margaret and Carrie White’s relationship, turning Carrie into an anguished, terrified teen. King will also open a side theme here in this dynamic, showing the fears in the roots of the Christian religion. Although the pace of the book appears to be bogged down at times by detail and excess comments, they contribute to the suspense and horror of the novel, as well as stressing the core themes found rampant throughout the plot.
Speaking on a book sense in general, Carrie is very grabbing. Providing articles and interviews following incidents in the novel throughout the telling of the story, it shows many different perspectives to the reader from different people and different time periods, leaving the reader to piece together the whole story. The most striking feature of the book is its realism. First using the aforementioned letters and articles, King transforms the story into a seemingly non-fiction crime investigation. He then depicts characters relatable to the life of just about any adolescent. Carrie is that girl who always has trouble fitting in. Chris is the mean girl, who covers up her insecurities by being nasty. Sue is the girl who often feels pressured and becomes a bystander in times of intensity. Mr. Morton is that awkward vice principal who just can’t seem to ever have a grip on reality.
Ultimately, the book Carrie is an extremely unique work of literature that would be beneficial to any reader’s inventory. It not only provides the knowingly horrifying details of gore, but also covers many psychological fears. The writing is clear and engaging, allowing the reader to get fully immersed in the plot. The characters and unique style of writing make the events seem interminably real, increasing the dramatization of the story. The book could even be interpreted as having a societal purpose, acting as a harbinger to malicious acts and bullying, especially during teen years.

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