What does Gordie symbolize in "The Body" by Stephen King?

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

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I think that Gordie represents the power to describe the world, but to do little about changing it.  Gordie represents the artist in the modern setting.  I think that King is deliberate in structuring Gordie in the manner he does.  Gordie is able to understand and articulate his state of being and the condition of his friends.  He is able to understand the exact dimensions of Vern, Teddy, and Chris.  Gordie symbolizes the element of the world in which consciousness understands itself, but can do little to alter or change it.  In some respects, Gordie's inability to change what he knows is going to happen is akin to the lifelessness of Ray Brower.  Gordie represents this element of not being able to construct much in way of transformation, but rather describe it.  Additionally, I think that Gordie represents or symbolizes that aspect of collective being that always is a bit outside the norm.  In the work, when the boys are together, there is something distant about Gordie from the others.  He lacks the leadership of Chris, the intensity of Teddy, and the naivete of Vern.  In this, Gordie represents how even in a sense of shared consciousness, individuals can exist outside the realm of collectivity and be distant and distinct from it.

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