Date: 2017-01-08 12:02 am (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
King gets me in the "heroic last stand" place a lot even when it's not literally one. So many of his characters try so hard, and overall for good (even if not totally altruistic) reasons, and there's never any guarantee that it's going to work out for them. But they try. Even when they've done absolutely everything else weak and selfish and wrong, unless they're a complete sociopath, there's always a chance that they might change their mind at the last minute, and that it will matter in a wider sense, even if not in a material one, that they do.

One of my favorite examples of that is Whitney Horgan from The Stand. We never see him do anything bad of his own accord, but he's hanging with the Devil and helping him crucify people and prep for mass murder. He's the classic "just following orders" guy, but he volunteered to go with the person who was going to give him those orders. And at the very last moment, he stands up to Flagg and tries to rally people who he has to know are not going to rally, is horribly killed for his attempt... and that ball of lightning Flagg used to kill him comes down and blows Flagg's entire master plan to kingdom come. (It's funny, the Hand of God annoys a lot of people, but if all King had done was not call it that and just had it be that little ball of lightning, that entire sequence would have felt much more organic and composed of the sum of everyone's choices and less deus ex machina.)

But yeah, that car scene is horrifying. Cujo doesn't even kill the poor kid directly; he traps him in the car, and he dies of heat without ever being bitten, and that's even more awful because all he needed to do to live was get out of the car. It was so simple, yet so impossible. And unlike vampires, something that actually happens.
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