Sunday, September 23, 2012

Carrie Read-a-Long - Part Two: Prom Night

Kate from Midnight Book Girl and I are co-hosting the Fall Stephen King Read-A-Long.  

Head on over to see what Midnight Book Girl thought about Carrie up to now HERE.  Next time we will be discussing Part Three: Wreckage on September 30th. Twitter party on that evening will start at 8:00 pm.  

Also, don't forget about our Twitter party tonight from 6-7pm EST.  We'll go to 8 if we generate enough dialogue. Use the hashtag #Carrieprom!


1. There is a part quoted form "My Name is Susan Snell" when she stated that she is not really sorry that Tommy is dead anymore, because the idea of him was too perfect.  I was kind of shocked by this.  What did you think of this?

2. Miss Desjardin talked to Carrie about her own prom.  And for Carrie, the prom was magical up to a point.  Did you have any glamorized feelings about your own prom?  

3. When Sue was at home on prom night she said that she was still uncomfortable about her own motives and was afraid to examine them too closely in case she discovered selfishness.  Can you elaborate on this?  

4. Do you think that Tommy could have fallen for Carrie?

5. Tell me what you think of the significance or symbolism of blood.  (Tommy pricked his finger, Mrs. White cut herself, Sue either got her period late or lost a pregnancy.)

6. If that prank had not been played on Carrie at the prom, what kind of life do you think she would have had?
7.  What did you think of Billy and Chris's relationship?
Bonus question: Did you catch the mistake Stephen King made with regards to Carrie's dad? Thanks to Courtney from Abducted by Books for catching this!  

1.  I think she glamorized the idea of Tommy.  I mean what a perfect guy to take someone else to the prom because she asked him to.  He was also popular, nice, got good grades and was a star athlete.  I think that this is the way that Sue wants to remember him.  He was a fantasy and because he was killed, he could continue being a fantasy, the epitome of a wonderful boyfriend and student without the fantasy ever ending.  I wonder if Sue maybe felt that the reality of adulthood, real life and responsibility would whittle that fantasy down whether they ended up together or not.  I also think that this way she could make him a martyr.  Maybe because she knew she wasn't in her heart?

2. I definitely had high expectations for my prom, but not over the top like you see on movies.  Even though it was at the end of high school, it still seemed very much like a high school event.

3. I think that the only way Sue was going to feel any kind of redemption was if she made the ultimate sacrifice.  And at that moment it was offering Carrie her place.  Her place with her boyfriend, her place at the prom.  She admits that she felt disgust for Carrie herself and perhaps she doesn't want to be in the same league with Chris H., so she does this to lift herself above her and all the people who feel disgust and pity for Carrie.  I almost think this was a token gesture and Sue was going to feel bad for a very long time about the shower incident.  But I think that part of her thought that since she made this plan, she was the person who appeared to be truly sorry.

4. I do think that Tommy could have fallen for Carrie.  Or, at the very least, I think they had some moments where they felt connected.  Carrie turns out to be funny, intelligent and talented.  This surprised me and I bet it surprised and delighted Tommy.  There were moments when the narrative said that Carrie was in his head, that he heard her name pulsing in his mind.  Whether this was a psychic connection created inadvertently by Carrie, or an emotional one created by the evening who's to say.

5. At a panel at World Horror Convention this year, one of the experts on Stephen King stated that Carrie started in blood and ended in blood.  Carrie's shower scene all the way through to when Sue either gets her period or has a miscarriage.  I think blood in this book was a foreshadowing and also symbolizes death.

6. I would like to think that Carrie would have gotten out of the house after graduation.  I think that she came into her own power and if things hadn't gone horribly wrong at the prom, she would have had the courage to leave her mother.  I like to think of her getting a job as a seamstress.  Nothing glamorous, but just something of her own.  Her own life.

7. Billy and Chris have a typical bad boy and rebellious girl relationship.  I think Chris became dependent on Billy and Billy became disenchanted with Chris.  As soon as Chris sensed that Billy was losing interest, she became more clingy.  He treated her different than most other boys treated her and I think this novelty was attractive.  At first the plan was hers, but then it became Billy's.  Even Billy said it wouldn't have mattered if the pig's blood was dumped on Chris herself.  He just wanted to "get back" at the people in town.

Bonus question: I didn't catch the mistake.  Apparently there is a discrepancy in the story.  In one part it states that Carrie's father died before she was born and in another part it states that he was alive when Carrie was one or two.

What did you think about this section?  I thought it was very rich with characterization and symbolism. A terrific read.  I'm looking forward to discussing Part Three: The Wreckage.


Jen | Book Den said...

It's interesting to think how Tommy could have translated Carrie's name pulsing in his mind.

Great discussion questions, dear!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I am in total agreement to your take on Sue's feelings about Tommy's death!

And yes, to the idea of Carrie as a seamstress. This could have happened organically after prom, some girls and their mother's asking her to do a little sewing for them... I don't know if Carrie could have been truly happy though, because her power was growing and her patience with her crazy mom was wearing thin.

Midnyte Reader said...

@Jennifer-That part was creepy!

@Kate-Yes, but I like to think she moved out and cute ties with her mother.

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