The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Carrie is Stephen King’s first published novel, for which he received a $5,000 advance. With this book, he showed his interest in telekinesis and children, two motifs that characterize much of his fiction. The protagonist of the book, Carrie White, is almost eighteen and is a senior in high school.

King divides the novel roughly into two halves, “Blood Sport” and “Prom Night.” In the first half, King introduces his method for telling the story, which is to write much of the story as anyone might, but with the inclusion of fictional newspaper stories and books written after the events of his book. This experimental technique adds objectivity to an understanding of what happens and makes clear that telekinesis remains mis-understood and may exist in some form.

In “Blood Sport,” the reader encounters gangly and unpopular Carrie White while she takes a shower at school after gym class. While in the shower, she starts to menstruate for the first time, causing all the other girls to jeer at her and bringing out Carrie’s power. The gym teacher intervenes, wondering how it is that a girl her age had never menstruated before and why her parents had never discussed it with her. When Carrie mentions the incident to her mother, a fundamentalist, she forces Carrie into a closet to pray for her sins.

The reader learns of telekinetic acts, including a rain of stones on the White house, and future reactions from Carrie’s...

(The entire section is 517 words.)