Most of us went to high school and most of us know what an awkward period that can be. Not feeling pretty enough, tall enough or smart enough. Not fitting in with the “right crowd” at some point. Stephen King’s character “Carrie” had never fit in, she was the ultimate misfit.
Carrie White was a shy, quite 17 year old who lived in Westover, Maine. Both her parents were very religious. Her father was killed in a construction accident before she was born. That left her alone with her mother, who felt her daughter was a product of pure sin. She and Carrie lived a very simple life in their home and conducting home churches at least 3 times a week for several hours at a time.
Spare the rod and spoil the child was the philosophy of the house. Due to the strict religious code, Carrie did not behave as a normal teenager would of the time. The story begins with Carrie showering in Gym Class at the high school. This was an act her mother would disapprove of as showering was viewed as sinful, especially with other people. As she leaves the shower, blood begins to drip down her leg. Not an unusual occurrence for a typical teenager if it had been her first period. Carrie has never been told of menstruation and becomes instantly hysterical. The other girls tease her by calling her names and throwing tampons at her while she stood wet and naked in the shower. The gym teacher intervened, the taunting girls are punished with detention in the gym or no Prom and Carrie is sent home for the day to recover.
The day in the shower was unfortunately no different than most days. Ever since she started school, Carrie was teased and the butt of jokes. She never had one friend throughout her years in school. She wasn’t unattractive or unintelligent. She was just different and in the clicks of youth, just different won’t do.
Carrie had begun to notice in times of emotion stress, such as the shower incident, things would happen. A light busted after in the showers while the gym teacher tried to comfort her. A little boy on a bike was making fun of her on her way home and his tires popped. And there was the incident when she three years old…where stones fell from the heavens on only the home she lived in. It seemed stronger after she began her monthly cycle. She worked in secret in her bedroom to strengthen this ability.
Life seemed to get a little better when Carrie was invited to the Prom by one of her schoolmates. It all seemed too perfect, a wonderful date, a beautiful dress she made, and it would have been an unbelievable night if not for a girl in her class, Christine. She had been one of the girls who had teased Carrie in the shower and had never attended her detention. So she was unable to attend the Prom and blamed Carrie for it. She and some followers planned a horrible prank to play on Carrie. That prank would bring out the worst in Carrie White and cause destruction in the little town of Westover, Maine.
The book shows Carrie as the true victim of the story. The never ending teases and taunts from fellow classmates and teachers who didn’t care. A mother who was obsessed with religion and felt her daughter was an abomination. All she wanted was love and friendship but in the end all she could she caused was hate and fear. It also asks the question “If Carrie had a different childhood, with love, caring, and friendship, would her powers have come out?”
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