Speaking of things that scare us, last night I finished my second Stephen King novel of the year, It. It is well over 1000 pages and has taken me some time to finish. I read such things at night after I go to bed, and since I’ve been getting up at 3:30, I don’t have the energy to read long. So, the pace has been slow.
People warned me about this book, that there were scenes in it they still cannot shake from their memory, and that they had to read it with all the lights on in the house. Though there was a scene or two that I found particularly troubling, and though it is true I may never quite look at storm sewer drains and clowns in the same way ever again, I did not find the supernatural horror all that harrowing.
Once again what I found troubling was the craziness and cruelty of people. It’s the evil that people are capable of that arouses in me the real anxiety. I know that the thing known as It in the novel is fanciful (though one might argue what it represents). But I know as well that the abuse, the loneliness, the cruelty of one group of people to others, these things are real.
In the end It is vanquished. But people are still around. The ordinary horrors still exist. When will they be vanquished?
This, I think, is the justification of the horror genre. Not only can it force us to explore and probe and ponder both supernatural and ordinary evil, but the story always makes us long for a Deliverer. And to long for a Deliverer is a good thing. And to discover, even in story form, that the Deliverer triumphs, this, too, is good.
One thought on “Finished It”
Man’s inhumanity to man has always been a source of fear/horror for me. The princes and principalities of the air do not elicit that same emotion because I know who my Deliverer is. In Him there is peace. G
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