What is/are the theme(s) in Misery by Stephen King?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I sense two critical themes in King's work.  The first would be the exploration of the "crazed fan."  I think that there is a significant message coming out of the book that makes both artist and public their relationship to one another.  The idea that there is a "number one fan" out there like Annie should strike horror in both the public and the artist who never knows what situations might prompt their "number one fan" to have their dreams realized.  In an age of celebrity stalker, still reliving the horror of John Lennon's assassination, and the idea of how the public figure does not enjoy a private life, the book is quite telling in its discussion of the pitfalls of stardom.  Another theme that is evident in the book is the theme of survival.  Paul must utilize any and all mental toughness to withstand what Annie makes him endure.  The idea of consciousness being a struggle to survive is "misery," yet is a part of what it means to be a human being.  The notion of endurance invariably leading to triumph is a theme that we see Paul Sheldon embody throughout the narrative until its conclusion.

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