“Carrie” is a horror novel by Stephen King, published in 1974. The novel tells the story of a teenage girl named Carrie White who discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses them to take revenge on her cruel classmates and abusive mother.
Carrie is a shy, introverted girl who is constantly bullied at school by her peers for her strange behavior and religious beliefs. She lives with her overbearing and fanatically religious mother, Margaret, who punishes her for any perceived sin.
One day, while showering after gym class, Carrie gets her first period and, not knowing what is happening to her, is ridiculed by her classmates, who throw tampons and sanitary napkins at her. This incident triggers Carrie’s latent telekinetic powers, and she begins to discover the extent of her abilities.
As the story progresses, Carrie becomes more confident and starts to use her powers to defend herself against her tormentors. She also starts to develop a relationship with a sympathetic boy named Tommy Ross, who takes her to the prom as his date.
However, Carrie’s happiness is short-lived as a cruel prank is played on her during the prom, causing her to unleash her full powers and exact bloody revenge on her classmates and her mother.
In the end, Carrie dies, but not before causing widespread destruction and leaving a lasting impact on the small town where she lived. The novel is told through a series of newspaper articles, scientific reports, and eyewitness accounts.
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Carrie By Stephen King Summary
In the imaginary little town of Chamberlain, Maine, in 1979, Carrie takes place. It uses two separate narrative styles. The first is an epistolary collection that includes quotes from articles, scholarly publications, committee hearings, and survivors’ autobiographies, the most recent of which was written in 1988. The passages examine what prompted Carrie to commit so extensive destruction. An objectively reporting third-person limited omniscient narrator is the other (and more common) type of narrative. Parenthetical asides occasionally present the characters’ unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness-style ideas. This story’s chronological narration emphasizes the events that preceded Chamberlain’s horrific murder by Carrie.
After a high school physical education lesson, 16-year-old Carrie White, who is harassed for her raggedy appearance and fundamentalist Religious views, experiences her first period in a locker room shower. Carrie doesn’t know she is menstruation and thinks she is bleeding to death since her mother Margaret is a violent religious fundamentalist who detests any suggestion of sexuality. Chris Hargensen, a vicious but popular classmate, incites the other girls to an outburst and taunts Carrie while they hurl tampons and feminine products at her as she trembles.
Chris’s groupie Sue Snell is present in the crowd and takes part in the assault. The assault is stopped when physical education instructor Miss Desjardin hears the commotion. She sanitizes Carrie and talks to the frightened girl about menstruation. Carrie practices the mysterious power she only recalls utilizing once already, at the age of four and lets stones rain down onto her house, as she makes her way home from school. As Carrie gets home, her mother confines her in a closet for prayer because she thinks women are innately evil after learning about her menstruation.
The following day, Miss Desjardin makes an effort to discipline the remaining girls for the incident and issues a threat that they won’t be allowed to go to prom if they don’t take the punishment. Excluding Chris Hargensen, who tries to persuade her father, a lawyer, to be lenient, the girls all comply. When this fails, Chris is prevented from going to the prom and becomes enraged. She plans to exact revenge on Carrie with her bad-boy boyfriend, Billy Nolan. Carrie exercises her telekinesis and grows more powerful while she muses over the ongoing bullying at school and maltreatment at home.
However, as her memories of utilizing her power become more vivid, Carrie realizes that although she has always had the ability, menstruation has provided her with the practice necessary to learn how to control it. Sue Snell, who participated in the locker room assault, feels terrible about it and tries to make up by asking her boyfriend Tommy to accompany Carrie to prom. Carrie reluctantly agrees to go when Tommy asks her to. To attend the prom, Carrie crafts a velvet dress, but her mother says it’s too revealing and won’t let her go. But, Carrie is now extremely strong and can make her mother do whatever she wants. When Chris and Billy learn that Carrie is attending the prom, Chris manipulates the results so that Carrie and Tommy are crowned prom king and queen.
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Initially, Carrie enjoys herself greatly and makes her first social connection with Tommy. Chris, on the other hand, pours a bucket of pig’s blood on Carrie when she and Tommy enter the platform to be declared King and Queen. Her startled classmates can only laugh in response. Carrie leaves the school in anger after being humiliated, but she ends up going back to the gym. She first plans to secure the entrances and use the sprinklers to wet everyone down, but the water accidentally shorts out some of the band’s gear and nearly kills a few people. Then, a fire breaks out, killing almost everyone who was imprisoned.
Carrie causes a great deal of harm to the community as she makes her way home by igniting gas lines and creating flames that completely destroy the town and claim hundreds of lives. As Carrie gets home, her mother tells her that she had her through a spousal rape and stabs her because she thinks Carrie is seized by Satan. When Carrie is tragically injured, her mother’s heart stops. Billy and Chris are killed when Carrie enters the roadhouse wherein she had been conceived and then destroys it. She collapses on the ground, dying and worn out, to gaze at the stars. Sue was able to find Carrie because she was able to project her thoughts onto other people while she was on the rampage. Sue informs Carrie that both she and Tommy weren’t attempting to deceive her during their telepathic communication. Carrie, who is comforted, cries out “Momma” as she passes away.
The town’s deterioration is a result of more individuals wanting to flee Chamberlin than remain and reconstruct after the incident. Resigning, Miss Desjardin swears to never teach again. According to federal research, Carrie is not the only person with telekinesis. In an autobiography about her experiences, Sue Snell makes an effort to humanize Carrie. A little child in the Appalachians starts to show abilities resembling those of Carrie.
What I Mean…
Stephen King is popular for his exciting genre stories and Carrie is one of his best works where we see a girl who is the protagonist trying to survive in this world with his supernatural abilities and being surrounded by strict religious beliefs. The story is both horrifying and heartbreaking but is definitely a good read.