17 votes
Accepted

Why did Stephen King choose room number 217?

George Beahm writes in his books about Stephen King that the family was in fact in a Room 217 when the idea came to him. Stephen King from A to Z says: The genesis of [The Shining] is that when the ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 2,725
10 votes

Where did Stephen King get the word "Shawshank" from?

What ‘Shawshank’ suggests to me, is a surname from the Scottish Borders. The name is made up of two elements that are common in English and Scots surnames and placenames: ‘shaw’ meaning ‘covert’ or ‘...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Who was (were?) the inspiration for Carrie?

In chapter 1* of On Writing, King says that Carrie White was based on two girls that he knew from high school. All the details mentioned in the question are there, but not in those exact words. It is ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 5,940
8 votes

In "It", was Derry, Maine said to be named after Derry or Londonderry?

The Internet Archive has three editions of It, spanning more than 30 years: November 1986, New York: Viking September 1987, New York: Signet July 2017, New York: Scribner All three have the same ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
7 votes
Accepted

What are the Stephen King connections in The Dark Tower series?

All of them. By the end of The Dark Tower, it is revealed that the story takes place If you're looking for a list of every explicit reference, Wikipedia had a good list going that you can edit, but ...
Gaurav's user avatar
  • 1,700
7 votes
Accepted

Has there been any criticism of Bryan Smith's depiction in The Dark Tower series?

Yes. I don't know what degree of 'notability' you're looking for in criticism of how harshly King portrayed Smith in his book, but certainly there has been public criticism. In a Cracked article ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
4 votes

What does this line from Stephen King "On Writing" mean?

Show, don't tell King is using subtext to infer the connection between his "bad ears and crappy tonsils" and the fact that he was considerably older than his classmates. We need to use ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 196
4 votes

What does "as hot as the hinges of hell" mean in "The Green Mile"?

TL;DR: It means that it was very hot. The addition of ‘hinges’ to the common English idiom ‘hot as hell’ provides emphasis via alliteration. (Alliteration for emphasis is the reason we go to hell in a ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
4 votes
Accepted

About Jake's fate in The Gunslinger

The actual situation that Jake ends up in after Roland left him behind is...a little odd, primarily because of other events later in book 2, The Drawing of the Three. It's not exactly like "nothing ...
Cahir Mawr Dyffryn æp Ceallach's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Why is It afraid of birds?

I think you may be thinking too much about the specifics of what Stan was saying. What drives off It is not the birds, but rather Stan drawing strength from his passion. Birdwatching is a major part ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How do I analyze the stress/unstress in this Stephen King based novel?

In spoken languages there's an idea of "stressed" and "unstressed" syllables. A stressed syllable is pronounced with more force and emphasis. In English there are words like "...
Torisuda's user avatar
  • 2,053
3 votes

Is the stormy weather an element of Naturalism in The Shining by Stephen King?

In 1856, John Ruskin coined the term pathetic fallacy (in Modern Painters, Volume III, Part IV) to denote the attribution of human feelings to inanimate objects. One of the examples he gave comes from ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What does this sentence from Carrie mean?

“Lovecraft out of Arkham” refers to the horror writing of H. P. Lovecraft whose writing includes the fictional setting of Arkham, Massachusetts. “Kerouac out of Southern Cal” conversely refers to the ...
D. A. Hosek's user avatar
  • 3,165
3 votes

Why does Stanley Uris react so gruesomely to It returning?

Is it possible Stan is obsessive-compulsive? In the book, King makes it clear how neat Stan is, even referring to him as the smallest adult in Derry. In the bathroom-cleaning scene in the book, the ...
toomanyparentheses's user avatar
2 votes

Why does Stanley Uris react so gruesomely to It returning?

(Spoilers,duh) I think that Stan reacts so "strongly" to it returning because he says before 1984 (when the losers were kids) that he says he saw IT in her "TRUE FORM". I think even when years have ...
RichieRipoff's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

In Stephen King's The Shining, what is the meaning of Jack's conversation with Grady?

This is a personal opinion rather than something I can reference, but to me the key to understanding this passage is this line: You’re the caretaker, sir, you’ve always been the caretaker. I should ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22.1k
2 votes
Accepted

Bowers and Huggins and Criss, oh my!

Phrases of the form "something and something and something, oh my!" are fairly widespread as a sort of meme (or snowclone) originating from the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz: Lions and Tigers ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
2 votes

Why does Pennywise Kill Patrick Hockstetter?

While Patrick is not motivated by the desire to cause fear in others, it's not really true to say he's "unimpressed with terror". In the novel, when Pennywise comes for Patrick he assumes ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22.1k
2 votes

Weird Timeline in ‘Salem’s Lot’

The phrase in the novel is limited to 'Hitler's rise', it does not specify his rise 'to power', so there is no reason to tie the timescale strictly to his elevation to or consolidation of power. The ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
2 votes

What is the meaning of the bike hit on the road by Jack Torrance and Al Shockley? (The Shining)

They don't know exactly what happened, but it could be something very bad. The person might have got up and cycled off; or might have been killed and their body lost (whether knocked over a bridge or ...
Stuart F's user avatar
  • 729
1 vote

What is the meaning of the bike hit on the road by Jack Torrance and Al Shockley? (The Shining)

The book mentions a bridge stanchion near where the car stopped. I’ve always thought it was possible the collision threw the rider over the side. However, the book also says Jack felt the car’s wheels ...
Angelle's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

In Stephen King's The Shining, what is the meaning of Jack's conversation with Grady?

A common motif in King's work is the attribution of mind to non-living beings. (For example, in the story 1408, one of my favourites, the room itself is evil and attempts to harm the protagonist.) ...
Josh Friedlander's user avatar
1 vote

Is The Shawshank Redemption based on a Leo Tolstoy story?

In today's era, saying someone's work is based on someone else's work is equivalent to calling the former as ungrateful and the latter as unacknowledged. We tend to relate things and find patterns in ...
Knight wants Loong back's user avatar
1 vote

Why is It afraid of birds?

Your answer lies in the specific characteristics of each bird mentioned. I have not read the book but per your question will give you an answer. Will use the example of eagles. This bird roars above ...
Quintrala92's user avatar
1 vote

Why does Stanley Uris react so gruesomely to It returning?

The entry for Stan on Wikipedia is as follows; Stan is the most skeptical member of the Club. He is Jewish and is persecuted by Henry Bowers for this reason. Logic, order, and cleanliness are ...
ThePeake's user avatar
  • 159

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