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The End: Stephen King’s IT Read-a-Long

Anna and I are co-hosting the Stephen King IT Read-a-Long.  We are having discussions once per month through the end of the year about the parts we’ve read.

Each month you had the option to answer the questions on the hosting blog or in your own post, but please go back to the monthly host to leave your discussion link.

Remember that these posts can contain spoilers.

For the first discussion of part 1, plus the following interlude, go here.

For part 2′s discussion, please visit Diary of an Eccentric.

For the discussion of part 3, go here.

Part 4’s discussion can be found on Diary of an Eccentric.

Today, we’re taking a look at Part 5: The Ritual of Chud, the last interlude, and the epilogue.

1.  Of the seven in the gang of Losers, which character do you believe is the direct opposite to the evil of IT and why?

2.  At one point, Eddie talks about how he loves Bill and that Bill is loved, but wonders if that is too much power to have.  What do you think he meant by that? And do you agree?

3.  Forgetting is a theme in the novel, why do you think these characters forget or begin to forget once It has receded?

4.  The turtle shows up in this section, but what is the turtle? theories about its purpose?

5.  What are your final impressions of IT?  Would you read another Stephen King book?

Please leave your comments below.  We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the final scenes.

  • OK, well keep me posted. We do have the A Farewell to Arms read-a-long for WWI this year as well.

    • That’s what I meant when I said we had the WWI read-along. 🙂

  • 1. Of the seven in the gang of Losers, which character do you believe is the direct opposite to the evil of IT and why?

    I think any of the Losers could be seen as the opposite of It, if the opposite of It innocence and good. All of the children have a goodness to them, evidenced by how they embrace one another as friends as the group expands and how they all take it upon themselves to get rid of It. I’m not sure if I could single one out, but off the top of my head, I think of Bev, how her father accused her of being a slut when she was just an innocent girl with friends who are boys. Even though the boys all professed their love for her, it was all very innocent, except the night they sent It into hiding, but even that was touching and loving rather than sexual (at least to me).

    2. At one point, Eddie talks about how he loves Bill and that Bill is loved, but wonders if that is too much power to have. What do you think he meant by that? And do you agree?

    Well, the Losers all put Bill on a pedestal. Was he anything special compared to the rest of them? They all had good ideas and helped to defeat It in some way or another. But Bill, probably because of Georgie’s death, was set apart from the rest. And when you think about how evil It was and that Bill alone — even though his friends are beside him — takes on It, that is a lot of power and might be too much for one to handle. I think Bill took it all in stride and believed that he could do it.

    3. Forgetting is a theme in the novel, why do you think these characters forget or begin to forget once It has receded?

    Part of me wants to believe they forget as a means of burying the trauma, but I think it’s more than that. Not sure exactly, but when names fade from an address book, you know it’s more than PTSD. And by the end of the book, it seems like Derry itself is fading away, too.

    4. The turtle shows up in this section, but what is the turtle? theories about its purpose?

    I’m not exactly sure what the whole purpose of the turtle was. Okay, so the turtle created the galaxies, but there was a more powerful Other. Why a turtle? Because some of them live to a ripe old age? No idea. I wonder if King is making some comparison to God, but I really have no idea. I guess the turtle does show that It is not eternal, even though It thinks it is, especially given that the creator of the galaxies wasn’t eternal.

    5. What are your final impressions of IT? Would you read another Stephen King book?

    I really liked this book and would definitely read another King novel, but probably not for awhile, since I need a break from chunksters. The ending was a little out there, with the deadlights and the end of the universe and all that, but at least I didn’t find it cheesy.

    • At one point, Eddie talks about how he loves Bill and that Bill is loved, but wonders if that is too much power to have. What do you think he meant by that? And do you agree?

      I think in a way Bill’s power is the love and the belief he receives from his friends and his own belief that he can defeat It, but I also wonder if with a different person, maybe not one as good as Bill, that power could become twisted and turned into something bad. I really like that Bill and the others are good and that their belief is so strong…there are so few kids that have a strong sense of self and belief these days.

      Forgetting is a theme in the novel, why do you think these characters forget or begin to forget once It has receded?

      I had the benefit of reading this before, so I didn’t think it was PSTD, but I do wonder if the forgetting is required, like in fairytales how the heroes complete the task, but are not allowed to remember their triumph or who shy away from accolades. I think the victory is bittersweet in that they don’t remember each other; it’s almost like they shouldn’t win against It because then they will forget one another and how much they meant to one another.

      The turtle shows up in this section, but what is the turtle? theories about its purpose?

      The turtle reminds me of the god that stands backs and watches, just observes, and does not interfere with the struggles between good and evil. Its as if the creatures created by the other universal power are given the tools they need to fight evil and that they have the choice to win or lose.

      What are your final impressions of IT? Would you read another Stephen King book?

      I love this book and it is still my favorite. I’d love to do a read-a-long of Bag of Bones…if anyone is interested.

      • I would have liked more info about the turtle and the “Other” he mentioned. I liked the fast pace of that part of the book, but it might have gone a little too fast actually.

        I wouldn’t mind reading Bag of Bones, but not sure I’ll be up to another read-along next year. I guess I’ll play that by ear. 😉

        • I agree, I would like to have had more information about The Other and the Turtle, but it’s a big enough disappointment for me to not like the book as much as I do.

          We could read Bag of Bones together in 2013 if you like or if you feel up to it in 2012, like around August like we did with It this year.

          • For me it was more about the characters than the whole let’s-defeat-It thing. I really was attached to them.

            I think it’ll probably be 2013. We have the WWI read-along, and I’m doing a buddy read or two with Kailana later next year (WWII). I’ll let you know though. Could change my mind after I clear away the stack of review copies that is making me feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment. LOL

  • I hope you plan on answering the questions yourself! I am less than 100 pages away from finishing, so I will answer them either later today or tomorrow. I’m finding that this section is going really fast because I want answers and need to know NOW! 😉

    • Of the seven in the gang of Losers, which character do you believe is the direct opposite to the evil of IT and why?

      As I’ve read this for the second time, I’ve noticed an unbelievable goodness in Bill that seems to directly juxtapose the evilness of IT. He befriends any one who seems to be an outcast with little teasing or hesitation, he loves each of the gang regardless of race, ethnicity, and stupidity and welcomes them with open arms. While the Turtle seems to be the “watcher” here, it also makes me wonder if the turtle doesn’t also act through Mike and Bill in the way that IT acts through Henry and some of the other residents of Derry.

      • Why Ben? I thought Mike was the “watcher.”

        • What I meant was he acts through Mike…Sorry abut that…I thought I edited that comment, but apparently I didn’t. going to fix it now

          • No worries! I thought I’d missed something, which wouldn’t be surprising given how long the book is!