bleodswean (bleodswean) wrote in pathos_horror,

There is horror in violence & torture....obviously...and yet. SPOILERS

Let’s talk about the insane levels of highly detailed violence and torture that abound in IT. And much, if not all, of the detail is emotional rather than physical, insomuch as its fictionalized violence and the resultant injury is inflicted on the reader. At what point does torture porn become masochistic to the reader who sujects herself to truly disturbing violence? At what point does it shift from vital to the story to gratuitous? What does King lend to this violent story that makes the reading compelling and does it ultimately add value/worth to the overall effect of the massive undertaking of reading the novel?

We have the purveyors of violence:

Alvin Marsh
Tom Rogan
Patrick Hockstetter
Henry Bowers
Butch Bowers
Richard Macklin

And essentially, they are all abusers of children, women, animals. (IT and Patrick, however, are monsters.) One begins to wonder after being subjected to relentless scene after scene of domestic abuse, if that might be the underlying story/moral/point of the novel. Abuse of the innocent. Torture and death of the innocent. IT feeds on children in some sort of evil conduit of energy to power the dark macroverse, but the fathers/stepfathers in IT also feed a dark reality in the legacy they each leave with their fists and words and deeds.

So, we have IT and Patrick. UGH. As monstrous as IT is, Patrick skeeved me out more than any other character. A minor character, a child character, whose death we the reader actually are relieved by. Patrick is horrific. And King's use of this character is nauseating and difficult to read. Curelty to animals is particulary hard to stomach. But there's also the strange sexual undercurrent....I don't know, this character feels BAD to me and I'm not sure I see a point of having him in the story, unless it's to counter the sexuality of The Losers that comes at the end of the novel.

Then we have the fathers/stepfathers, Alvin, Butch, and Richard. Horrorshows of the most gritty, realistic kind. These guys ARE out there. And the upsetting thing about Derry is that none of the adults are champions of children, even the wonderful Mr. Hanlon who is such a contrast to these terrible father figures, isn't enough to counter the issue with the adult population. Should there be more positive adult role models? The mothers are also checked out, disconnected, vacant, or overly protective to the point of being abusive.

Henry is the legacy.

Tom is a conglomeration of Henry and Alvin. It is interesting that Beverly's arc is about being a punching bag....and yet....she somehow saves The Losers in 1958 through the fact of her femaleness. And when she finally stands up to Tom, that backbone was always there and she had chosen to not strengthen it, but rather to play the part in the savagery that Tom mirrors from Alvin.

Henry and Patrick, along with the rest of Henry's gang, make up the peer-based abuse that The Losers are forced to endure. Henry and Patrick also are animal abusers, but there is a slight mention that IT may have fed on pre-human life forms and we also know that IT would like to abuse the Turtle and rejoices in the fact of the Turtle's death.

All these horrific, violent, torturous male characters....and how does that fit in with the horror of violence that makes up the bulk of the novel when we and the children learn that IT is actually female?!

For me, this novel has proven to be more violent than supernatural, insomuch as it's a horror-themed work but the horror is really human-based. The monster is more about the monster that dwells inside of the human life, destroying lives around itself. I don't care for violence in my entertainment and although I'm not ready to discuss MY final summation of this book, the torture and violence were so graphically detailed that the story became quite off-putting to me because of that. Moreso as an adult reader than a younger reader.

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