“IT” is a horror novel by Stephen King that explores themes of childhood trauma, the power of memory, and the nature of evil. The novel gives an anecdotal look into the concept of fear and how it can be used to manipulate individuals. The character of Pennywise the Clown represents the ultimate embodiment of fear, preying on the fears of the children primarily. One of the main subliminal messages in IT is about the power of fear and how it can be used to control people. This is demonstrated in how Pennywise manipulates the characters his own nefarious purposes.
In addition to the idea of fear being used to manipulate individuals, IT also explores the concept of how fear can both empower and paralyze individuals. The story is set in the town of Derry, Maine, where a malevolent entity preys on the fears of the town’s inhabitants, particularly children. The children, who come to be known as the “Losers’ Club,” initially feel powerless in the face of the attacks. However, they eventually realize that by facing their fears and standing together, they have the power to defeat Pennywise. The novel is a complex exploration of childhood trauma, fear, and the nature of evil that has captivated readers for decades.
IT also touches on themes of social inequality and prejudice, particularly through the character of Mike Hanlon, the only African American member of the Losers’ Club. Through Mike’s experiences, the novel highlights the insidious ways in which racism can manifest and the importance of standing up against it.
Throughout the novel, Stephen King explores the various ways in which fear manifests in the characters. Some characters are more vulnerable to fear than others, and they experience it in different ways. For example, the character of Eddie Kaspbrak is afraid of illness and disease, while the character of Beverly Marsh is afraid of her abusive father.
Through these various portrayals of fear, King underscores the idea that fear is a universal experience that affects us all differently. He also suggests that the only way to overcome fear is to confront it directly, rather than trying to ignore or suppress it.
IT addresses fear in a complex and nuanced way, exploring the many facets of this complex emotion and how it can both empower and paralyze individuals.
He’s sick alright, no doubt about that, but it’s no virus or a phantom fever. He has been poisoned by his own memories.
Throughout the book, parents play a significant role in shaping the fears of the children in the story. Stephen King portrays parents as imperfect and often neglectful figures, who are unable or unwilling to protect their children from the horrors of the world.
Many of the children in the Losers’ Club have fears that stem from their relationships with their parents. For example, Eddie Kaspbrak’s fear of illness and disease is perpetuated by his overbearing mother, who convinces him that he is sickly and fragile. Beverly Marsh’s fear of her abusive father is a direct result of his violent and controlling behavior towards her.
Additionally, the parents in Derry are portrayed as complicit in the town’s dark history. Many of them turn a blind eye to the disappearances of children, which are later revealed to be the work of Pennywise. This suggests that the parents are not only failing to protect their children but are actively contributing to the danger that they face. In a broader, societal sense, this is thought provoking about what other dangers do parents ignore, and why?
King’s portrayal of parents in IT suggests that they have a significant influence on their children’s fears. He portrays them as flawed figures who are unable or unwilling to protect their children, leaving them vulnerable to the horrors of the world.
While it may not be for everyone due to its length, graphic content, and horror elements, IT has had a significant impact on the literary world since its publication in 1986.
IT is a must read because it presents a harsh reality that people need to understand by exploring the often-difficult experiences of childhood, the dangers of fear and manipulation, and the consequences of social inequality. By shining a light on these important issues, the novel serves as a powerful reminder of the need to address these problems in our own lives and in society.
That It and time were somehow interchangeable, that It wore all their faces as well as the thousand others with which It had terrified and killed… and the idea that It might be them was somehow the more frightening idea of all.
Also understated is the acknowledgment of evil in the world and the strength that friendship and shared determination to protect each other has over evil. The Loser’ Club friendship gives them the strength to face their fears and overcome the evil that threatens them. This shows that even in the face of great adversity, the power of friendship and love can prevail.
This also underscores the importance of community, friendship, and love in overcoming the evils of the world. It offers a powerful message of hope and resilience that is relevant today.
On the contrary, the film IT, released in 2017 is one of the better books to film adaptions that I have ever seen. The film does a phenomenal job of capturing King’s portrayal of fear and trauma in a very visual sense. While the book may seem overwhelmingly long, I encourage anyone to look past the horror aspect of Pennywise and see the thought-provoking visualization of the power of fear, childhood trauma, and evil.