The Stand Critical Evaluation - Essay

Stephen King

Critical Evaluation

(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Stephen King has been nominated for and won numerous awards from around the world. The Stand was nominated for the 1979 Gandalf Award for Book-Length Fantasy, the 1979 Locus Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Although it did not win any of these awards, it is still a masterful telling of the timeless battle between good and evil. Personifying good and evil in the guise of human beings is not a new idea. Personifying good as a century-old woman living in Nebraska and evil as a man, seemingly ageless and from no place in particular, King takes the concept and weaves this story into a classic tale.

With his complex plots, intense and complicated characters, skillful use of narrative point of view, and ability to create a believable future world, King portrays people who do not learn from their mistakes and, therefore, are destined to make them again. These characters find themselves in an epic novel in which King has said he was explicitly attempting to create a tale of the same scope and power of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1955), but set in the United States rather than in a fantasy world. The plot is also reminiscent of Christian narratives of the Ecstasy, in which many people will be “taken” from Earth and those left behind will be charged with fighting the last, apocalyptic battle between good and evil.