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Carrie
Carrie (novel)
Publisher's info
Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing Group
1st printing: April 5th, 1974
ISBN: ISBN 978-0-385-08695-0
Page count: 253
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Synopsis Edit

Wikipedia entry Edit

Blood Sport Edit

Ever since grade school, Carrie White has been the subject of abuse both by her unstable Christian fundamentalist mother, Margaret White, and her classmates at Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School. At the beginning of the novel, Carrie has her first period while showering after gym class. Carrie is terrified, having no concept of menstruation, and believes that she is bleeding to death. Instead of sympathizing with the frightened Carrie, her classmates throw tampons and sanitary napkins at her. As Carrie is aided by her gym teacher, Rita Desjardin, a light bulb in the shower explodes. When Margaret finds out about the incident, she beats Carrie, claiming that this is God's way of punishing her, and locks her in the closet for hours to pray for "forgiveness."

The next day, Miss Desjardin orders the girls who taunted Carrie to serve a week's detention in the gym. One of the girls and lead bully, Chris Hargensen, refuses to attend and is suspended for three days, as well as banned from Ewen High's prom. However, another girl, Sue Snell, feels remorse for her prior actions and offers to become Carrie's friend. Meanwhile, Carrie gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers, and learns how to keep them under control. With prom fast approaching, Sue convinces her handsome boyfriend, Tommy Ross, to ask Carrie to prom, as a way for her to finally fit in. Margaret forbids her from attending, but Carrie uses her powers to help stand up for herself.

Smarting from being banned from the prom, Chris and her boyfriend, Billy Nolan, hatch a plan to humiliate Carrie in front of the entire school. Chris has Billy fill two buckets with pig blood, and rigs them over the stage on a rafter hidden out of sight. On prom night, Carrie is tormented by Margaret, begging for her not to leave the house. Margaret begins hurting herself, trying to convince Carrie to stay home and pray with her, but Carrie leaves anyway and arrives with Tommy. She is nervous at first, but everyone begins treating her equally. Soon, Carrie begins enjoying herself and Tommy becomes attracted to her. Meanwhile, Sue is at home, continually worrying about what's happening at the prom. At the same time, she wonders if she is pregnant by Tommy.

Prom Night Edit

Carrie and Tommy are elected prom king and queen after Chris' friend, Tina Blake, rigs the prom election. Once on stage, Carrie and Tommy are drenched with the pig blood by Chris; one of the buckets falls on Tommy's head, mortally wounding him. Carrie again becomes the subject of her classmates' ridicule, and decides to use her power to exact revenge upon Ewen High. She locks the gym's doors and turns on the sprinkler system, electrocuting two students; she then sets fire to the gym, leaving everyone inside to die. Carrie then goes on a rampage through Chamberlain, blowing up gas stations and setting neighborhoods ablaze. Sue rushes to Ewen High and watches it explode, which destroys a portion of the town.

Carrie returns home and confronts a crazed Margaret, who claims she conceived Carrie due to marital rape. When Margaret stabs Carrie, she kills her mother by stopping her heart. Mortally wounded, Carrie makes her way to the local roadhouse where her mother was raped and she was conceived. Chris and Billy, who happen to be making love inside, receive word from Billy's friend of what has happened to Chamberlain; Billy plans on leaving town with Chris. They exit the roadhouse just as Carrie arrives, and attempt to run her down with Billy's car. However, Carrie telekinetically sends the car crashing into the roadhouse, killing Chris and Billy. Carrie then collapses in the parking lot from blood loss.

Sue arrives on the scene and finds Carrie in the parking lot. Carrie talks telepathically with Sue and blames her for the prank, but after scanning Sue's brain, she finds out that Sue was not involved and that she had set her up with Tommy to apologize for the gym shower incident. Realizing that Sue was benevolent all along, Carrie forgives and believes her. She then cries out for her mother and dies. Terror-stricken, Sue runs away from the roadhouse and, after distancing herself from it, collapses and has her period, meaning that she miscarried if pregnant.

Wreckage Edit

Four months later, Chamberlain has become a virtual ghost town. The "Black Prom" incident, in which 440 people were killed, is considered a national tragedy worse than the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After interviewing the survivors of the prom, science begins to take telekinesis seriously; many schools across the country start to crack down more on bullying. Miss Desjardin, who escaped from the prom, is consumed with guilt over not reaching out to Carrie sooner and resigns her teaching position. In 1986, Sue writes a memoir of her experience, which warns the reader not to forget about the events that took place in Chamberlain, or else something like it may happen again.

The book closes with a letter written by a woman in Tennessee, whose daughter is developing telekinetic powers.

Stephen King Wiki entry Edit

The book uses fictional documents to frame the story of Carrie White, a teenager from Chamberlain, Maine, when she caused one of the biggest disasters in world history.

For years, Carrie has been abused at home by her unstable Christian fundamentalist mother, Margaret. She does not fare much better at Ewen High School. Since first grade, everyone bullied her for her strange, religious ways, her outdated clothing and her unattractive appearance. She continued to be bullied and treated as a social outcast throughout high school.

At the beginning of the novel, Carrie has her first period while showering after gym class. Carrie is terrified, having no concept of menstruation and that her mother never spoke to her about it. The thought that this could be Carrie's first period never occurs to her classmates; instead of sympathizing with the frightened Carrie, they use it as an opportunity to make fun of her, throwing tampons and sanitary napkins at her as well as chanting at her. Gym teacher Rita Desjardin sees what is going on and immediately tries to help Carrie while the girls sneak away. At first Miss Desjardin is angry at Carrie for freaking out, but soon realizes that Carrie has no idea what is happening to her. While Miss Desjardin tries to explain menstruation to Carrie, a light bulb suddenly burns out. Miss Desjardin and Mr. Morton, the assistant principal, dismisses Carrie for the rest of the day. Before she leaves, Mr. Morton refers to Carrie as "Cassie." Angrily stating that that is not her name, Mr. Morton's ash tray unexpectedly falls off the desk.

Later that day, Carrie’s mother finds out about the incident in the showers. Thinking that Carrie got her period because she sinned, she beats Carrie, forces Carrie on her knees while frantically reciting verses and prayers, and locks Carrie in the closet for hours to pray.

Carrie gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. She tries to keep them under control, even though she is continually pressed to the limit. Meanwhile, Sue Snell, one of the girls who had earlier teased Carrie in the showers, feels bad for her participation in the incident. With the prom fast approaching, Sue sets Carrie up with her boyfriend, Tommy Ross, a baseball jock, but also an academic and a nice guy.

The following school day, Miss Desjardin punishes the girls involved with a week's detention in the school gym (a punishment made by the school board). However, Chris Hargensen, who helped instigate the episode in the showers, skips detention and she has been suspended for three days and banned from the prom (This was Miss Desjardin's original intended punishment, but would be enforced to those who skipped). As revenge, she and her boyfriend, Billy Nolan, a hardcore thug, hatch a plan to humiliate Carrie in front of the entire school. Chris has Billy fill two buckets with pig blood and rigs them over the stage on a rafter hidden out of sight.

On prom night, Carrie is tormented by her mother begging for her not to leave the house. Carrie leaves anyway and arrives with Tommy. Carrie is nervous at first, but everyone begins treating her equally. Soon Carrie begins enjoying herself and Tommy begins to become attracted to her. Meanwhile, Sue continually worries about what's happening at the prom—and at the same time worries if she's pregnant.

Carrie and Tommy are voted for King and Queen. Once on stage, Chris drenches Carrie and Tommy with the pig blood. Everyone begins pointing and laughing. A bucket knocks Tommy unconscious and Carrie runs out of the gym. She is tripped, gets back up, and rushes outside. Contemplating her life in solitary confinement she remembers her power and goes back to exact revenge on everyone who tormented her. She locks the doors and turns on the sprinkler system. But after viewing two kids die of electrocution, her mind finally snaps she decides to set fire to the gym. She leaves the prom-goers and chaperones to die in the fire, including Tommy. Miss Desjardin and a few other students manage to survive the destruction by fleeing through the fire escape. Carrie leaves the school and begins to destroy Chamberlain, blowing up a gas station, and setting her entire neighborhood on fire. She also destroys the town's fire hydrants, preventing any attempt at putting out the fires. Notably, Carrie goes to a cathedral, where she prays, all the while manipulating a series of power lines outside, killing several civilians surveying the event. Sue rushes to the school and watches it explode which destroys a portion of the town.

Carrie makes her way home and confronts her mother, who has now gone completely mad. Her mother tells Carrie of the night she was raped and conceived her before stabbing her in the shoulder with a carving knife. In retaliation, Carrie kills her mother by stopping her heart. Mortally wounded, Carrie then makes her way to the local roadhouse where her father got drunk and raped her mother the night she was conceived. Chris and Billy, who happened to be having sex inside, receive word from Billy's friend of what has happened to Chamberlain, and Billy plans on leaving town. Chris and Billy exit the roadhouse just as Carrie arrives, and attempt to run her down with Billy's car, but Carrie telekinetically sends the car crashing into the roadhouse, killing Chris and Billy. Carrie then collapses in the parking lot from blood loss.

Sue then goes to the roadhouse where she finds Carrie in the parking lot. Carrie talks telepathically with Sue and blames her for the prank. However, after scanning Sue's brain, she finds out that Sue had no idea of the prank and that she had set her up with Tommy to apologize for the gym shower incident. Carrie does not forgive Sue, but believes her and then cries out for her mother before dying from the stab wound in Sue's arms. Terror-stricken, Sue runs away from the roadhouse and, after distancing herself from it, she screams and has her period, meaning that she miscarried if pregnant.

A month later, Chamberlain is now basically a ghost town, and the 'Black Prom' incident has hit the nation harder than the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After interviewing the survivors of that night, science actually begins to take telekinesis seriously. Miss Desjardin, consumed with guilt over not being able to help Carrie, resigns from teaching. Henry Grayle, the school principal, also resigns. Sue writes a memoir of her experience entitled My Name is Susan Snell, which warns the reader not to forget about the events that took place in Chamberlain, lest something like it happen again. The book closes with a letter written by a woman in Tennessee, where it is implied her niece is developing telekinetic powers.

Appearances Edit

Incomplete

Characters Edit

  • Carrie White
  • Sue Snell
  • Billy Nolan
  • Annie Jenks
  • Harold Allison
  • Margaret White
  • Judith Brigham
  • J.W. Bankson
  • Don Barrett
  • Henry Blake
  • Tina Blake
  • Harry Block
  • David Bracken
  • Doug Brann
  • Otis Doyle
  • Vicky Hanscom
  • Chris Hargensen
  • George Kramer
  • Sally McManus
  • Thomas G. Mearton
  • Billy Preston
  • Mary Lila Grace Thibodeau
  • Donna Thibodeau

Locations Edit

  • Ewen High School

Items Edit

  • Bucket o'pig's blood

Notes & Trivia Edit

External Links Edit



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This article relates to the works of Stephen King.

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