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What does Ray Brower and his dead body symbolize in the novel "The Body" by Stephen...

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lovelund69 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 22, 2009 at 3:07 PM via web

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What does Ray Brower and his dead body symbolize in the novel "The Body" by Stephen King?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 22, 2009 at 9:08 PM (Answer #1)

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When the boys find the body of Ray Brower, it marks the end of innocence.  The boys undertook this journey to find the body out of innocence- a pure and joyful expression of their state of being.  They enjoy themselves and each other's company, tell stories, and revel in being kids.  When they see the body, all of this is cast in a different light.  For quotes, pay attention to how King describes the description of the body in terms of the actual description of the body and the boys' reaction to it.  Gone is the moment of Davey Hogan stories.  Those days are not going to return, and in its place is awareness of the frailty of life and the fact that life is going to end.  Gordie sees in the body his own experiences with the death of his brother and the death of the emotional connection to his parents.  The other boys see someone their own age, like themselves.  Another symbolic meaning of the body is that it represents a "death" of their previous conceptions of friendship.  From the moment they find the body, their attitudes change, their perceptions change as maturation begins to take hold and the loss of childhood innocence is a casualty.

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