William Mayne Dominic Hibberd - Essay

Dominic Hibberd

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It is not about IT, a familiar spirit, nor even about Alice, a twelve-year-old who wins a cathedral school scholarship, but about the power of imagination and the reality of free will. Alice, like [J.R.R. Tolkien's] Frodo, inherits a ring of power and can choose whether or not to wield it. The power is represented by the demon, who brings her nine rings by which it could master her; Alice, choosing to retain her freedom, rejects them all and eventually makes a tenth by which she can master the demon. IT manifests itself as a poltergeist and poltergeists, we know, are associated with the emotional conflicts of girls in early adolescence. Fully unleashed, however, this strength which throws eggs about and makes...

(The entire section is 443 words.)