Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Literature Series Carrie Analysis - Essay

Stephen King

Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Literature Series Carrie Analysis

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Supernatural elements aside, Carrie is a story to which anyone who has felt estranged from a group can relate. This seemingly simple story contains several parallel themes that create its underlying complexity and conflict: the difficulty encountered when trying to become a member of a group, the problems associated with standing up to negative peer pressure, and the results of extreme emotional strain for a young person. Carrie is a good, contemporary example of initiation literature, in which the reader witnesses a character’s growth out of the innocence of childhood into the more complex world of adulthood.

Carrie White is representative of the many young people who are denied entry into the peer group socialization required for satisfactory completion of the maturation process. In order to develop into a well-adjusted adult, a young person must be included into the group dynamic. Carrie makes every attempt to fit in, but her appearance and her backwardness resulting from the bizarre actions of her mother will not permit her to fit in. Carrie has been taught that life is sinful, and she approaches each event in her life with great trepidation and tries to make her mother proud of her bravery and strength.

As she begins to mature and develop the human need for peer acceptance, however, Carrie starts to question her mother and her mother’s values. This clash of values places Carrie at odds with her mother, but she is...

(The entire section is 516 words.)