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The Stand - Book Review - a Critical Analysis Essay

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The Stand

A critical analysis essay

The stand is a book originally published in 1978 and written by acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King. This particular novel follows the end of the world story line in which a government created virus escapes killing 99% of the world's population and leaving a dystopia society. As the plague spreads, King introduces a variety of characters that survive and uses them to set the stage for the epic battle of good versus evil, as each character must chose a side to stand on. This analysis will be of the main characters and how King manipulates them to create his story.

Let's start with the characters that stood on the side of good. With the possible exception of Mother Abigail, all of these characters were depicted as average, everyday individuals. None of whom would be considered saints, or champions of god, prior to the plague. Yet each of these people held inside a genuine good and pension for selflessness. For example Stuart Redman.

The character of Stuart Redman is portrayed as a quite man with an underlying confidence. He is from the Texas town of Arnette, which is where the first signs of the outbreak occur. He is also one of the first to realize immunity to the "super flu". Redman is depicted as the truly "average Joe", a man that in life prior the outbreak held a mediocre job that he was happy to have with no true ambition to be a leader of any type, however found himself as one of the leaders of the Boulder "free zone" because of exceptional circumstances and his natural aptitudes.

One of the next major characters to be introduced is Frances Goldsmith. Goldsmith is described as "young and beautiful", a college student from the town of Ogunquit, Maine. At the start of the story she is pregnant with the child of her ex-boyfriend, which gives us a little insight to her morale standards, being an unwed mother. As the story progresses she meets Redman and falls in love. They find themselves getting closer as they travel together and soon become a couple. Goldsmith also finds herself in a position of power as one of the leaders in the "Free Zone", becoming a "moral compass" of types.

Larry Underwood, in my opinion, is probably the least expected member of the "Free Zone" and patron for the side of good. The character of Underwood is created as a young and upcoming singer before the outbreak. In the being of the story Underwood, living the life of the stereotypical "rock star" finds himself in debt to a drug dealer. After the outbreak, and the death of his mother, Underwood begins his journey to Boulder and also becomes a member of the "Free Zone" committee. I feel that the character of Underwood is King's ultimate depiction of redemption. Even though, prior to the plague, Underwood lived a life of drugs and lose morals, however he finds the strength to resist the temptations of the side of evil and "makes his stand" on the side of good.

The final character form the side of good that we will look at is Abigail Freemantle or "Mother Abigail as she is referred to throughout the story. She describes herself as "108 years old and still makes her own cornbread"; she is also the



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