The Fury Critical Essays

John Farris


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Fury is representative of the interest in psychic powers initiated by the publication of Stephen King’s Carrie in 1974. The focus in The Fury on teenage protagonists who are simultaneously victimized and capable of horrific destruction echoes Carrie. The Fury also foreshadowed another King novel, Firestarter (1980), with its combination of psychically gifted young people and villainous government agents.

In The Fury, John Farris convincingly depicts a world that is cold, dangerous, and desolate, physically and spiritually. No one can be trusted, as Hester discovers when her neighbors and supposed friends, Meg and Miles Bundy, reveal themselves as murderous MORG agents who have kept her under surveillance. Peters friend Nick similarly betrays his trust by surreptitiously turning him into a mindless killing machine. The kindly Mrs. Cunningham, Gillian’s nursemaid at the Paragon Institute, turns into a ruthless MORG agent when Gillian attempts her escape, and Psi Faculty housekeepers Bart and Ken are trained killers. Even the well-intentioned characters do more harm than good, as when the Bellaver’s turn their daughter over to the Paragon Institute. Governmental corruption is taken for granted, the only question being which agency will be vicious enough to win power in the end.

Farris develops a related theme that it is difficult to separate the good characters from the bad,...

(The entire section is 416 words.)