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

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Gordie is quite likely modeled after the young Stephen King. In his book Danse Macabre , which is a nonfiction book about horror literature and writing horror, King describes a frequent phenomenon: fans or journalists asking where his ideas come from and suggesting he must have had a troubled...

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Gordie is quite likely modeled after the young Stephen King. In his book Danse Macabre, which is a nonfiction book about horror literature and writing horror, King describes a frequent phenomenon: fans or journalists asking where his ideas come from and suggesting he must have had a troubled childhood. He says that his childhood was a happy one and that his family was loving and normal. But he does describe a memory he has from when he was very young of going blueberry picking, and of having no memory of what happened between the time he left and the time he returned home with an empty bucket. His parents told him he was in a daze and did not speak for hours. It turns out that a young boy from his neighborhood had gone missing and had been hit by a train that same day.

Although King does not recall what happened, "The Body" is a story that seeks to understand this event in the context of his childhood and how it may have affected him and his friends. The adventure the four friends embark on is different from King's own afternoon attempting to go berry picking; and these boys are older than King was. But Gordie is the de facto storyteller in the group and the one who narrates it as an adult looking back. This may imply a connection between Gordie and the storyteller who King later became, with a fascination for horror, possibly due to the real-life horror he witnessed as a child.

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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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