The “IT” Villain

In the small town of Derry, people are disappearing, children are being murdered. The police believe it’s some sadistic killer who’s turned their sight on the young and vulnerable. In this climate of fear the police impose a curfew, hoping that it will keep kids safe. Parents remind their children not to talk to strangers. Don’t stay out late. It’s only a matter of time before this lunatic will be caught – and eventually life will return to normal. As summer vacation begins, kids are looking forward to a well deserved break. Baseball, firecrackers, horror movies, playing with your friends – this is what it’s all about. But it’s not easy being a kid. Even though school is over, local bully Henry Bowers and his friends continue to hassle their classmates. Unfortunately, there’s a bigger problem and it’s lurking in the sewers. ‘IT’ written by Stephen King, is the story of the Loser Club, a group of kids who band together to defeat a monster and stop its killing spree.

A good antagonist isn’t necessarily evil, it’s more than that. A well written villain, has a plan, they torment, taunt, and manipulate their prey. If they aren’t careful they let their guard down and become its next victim. Stephen King brings us Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a monster who appears as a clown, which allows IT to lure children into a false sense of security, until it’s too late. This novel is responsible for introducing the scary clown, which has become part of pop culture. But why a clown? I think it’s because people either like or hate clowns – there’s no middle ground. Clowns are supposed to entertain us, they make jokes and slip on banana peels. They’re supposed to be silly not scary. You might not think anything is out of the ordinary if you see a clown handing out balloons. But it’s another thing altogether when that clown is hanging out in sewers, offering balloons to children. Once again, Stephen King takes something that’s completely normal and twists it into something horrible.

Even if you’ve never read ‘IT’ you’ve probably seen a picture of Pennywise. If an evil clown isn’t your thing, no problem – there are other reasons you should read ‘IT’. The 80s cult-classic ‘The Goonies’ and Netflix’s hit series ‘Stranger Things’, are heavily influenced by Stephen King and this novel. First of all, it features a group of kids who are the main protagonists. Second, these characters embark on an adventure to defeat a terrible antagonist. It is their camaraderie and love for one another forges a powerful bond which is vital to their success and their survival. The fact that these kids, against all odds, would band together to kill a monster is unbelievable. But it’s also awesome. Is there anyone else, other than a group of childhood best friends, that would set out to kill a monster? (Apparently all the adults are busy.)

Stephen King has written fifty four novels as well as almost two hundred short stories; however, ‘IT’ is one of his best known novels. For more than thirty years ‘IT’ has terrified readers, and coming this September the movie will be released. Come see what the fuss is about and remember, “We all float down here.”

 

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