How does Stephen King reveal the major themes throughout "The Body?"

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

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I think that the fundamental themes of "The Body" is brought out by the journey that the boys take.  The themes of innocence vs. experience, the acknowledgement of voice, as well as the notion of friendship are all revealed by the journey that the boys take.  The quest to find the body of Ray Bower are what sets in motion the development of characterization and conflict that enables the major themes to be revealed.  Through the journey to find the body, King is able to bring out the idea of friendship between the boys, and what it means at that moment as well as what it comes to mean later on.  Additionally, it is through the quest or journey that the reader is able to understand the boys and their identities.  It is through this voyage as well as the experiences that arise from it which enable the themes to be able to take hold.  King does not force the themes into the plot.  He understands that the heroic quest that someone like Gordy goes through will be one in which detailing it will be one in which the thematic development will become evident.  In this, King is able to reveal and enhance the themes that emerge as a result of the journey the boys undertake.


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