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Horror And Fear Are More Potent, Deep In The Soul
Misery - Stephen King
Misery - Stephen King
Date: 18/02/02, updated on 18/02/02 (355 review reads)
Advantages: Non-Stop Suspense, Depth Of Characters, Wonderfullly Written By Stephen King
Disadvantages: Believability Issues
We all here at DooYoo have had individual writers blocks. Sometimes this lasts for a few minutes but some time the frustration and despair lasts for hours or even possibly days. It's not just the plot a writer must think about but also how the characters will react in different situations or even simply just what to write about. Now imagine that you are trapped in a cabin far away from the rules and regulations of civilization and your world-renowned imagination and creativity is the only thing that can save you, but with a mental creative block, and your life at risk; the stakes are high and the frustration skyrockets.
The plot is as follows and it sets the scene for a wonderfully written book, attractive and structured to intrigue and invigorate the imagination. The main character is Paul Sheldon, a writer that has recently killed of his most famous character Misery Chastain in his latest novel. He is tired of writing about the heroine and decides to take a vacation in order to replenish and stimulate his creative spirits.
Unfortunately the unsuspecting Paul Sheldon is involved in a car accident on the snowy dunes of America. He consequently breaks his leg and finds himself being nursed supposedly to health by a woman named Annie Wilkes. She claims to be his number one fan, but instead she has sinister ideas in mind for the injured writer. On the surface Annie seems to be a caring nurse and devoted fan, feeding her hero and bathing him, basically performing tasks to keep Paul Sheldon in good health.
As the story develops and the characters mature we see that Annie has an alternative motive for her seemingly good intentions. Stephen King ingeniously provides the reader with several clues throughout the novel to help them uncover the fantastic character that is Annie Wilkes. For example it is noted that in his meals Annie has been drugging the unsuspecting writer with a drug described as Novril.
Annie is de
pendant on the imaginary character that is Misery Chastain. After being relieved of her duties as a nurse because of her murderous ways, Annie suppresses her psychotic behaviour by nursing it away with the power of reading. Over the last few years Misery Chastain and Annie Wilkes have formed a strong relationship especially in the mind of Annie. Shocked and devastated by the death of her hero Annie now has the perfect opportunity to manipulate Paul physically force him to write Misery Chastain back to life. Of course with the task at hand the odds were against him; a broken leg, arm, drugged on Novril, a type writer with the crucial letter 'n' missing, a mental block, fear and terror in his heart and the daunting task of creatively bringing back a character convincingly enough to secure his future safety.
The writing style of Misery is unique; third person creates a brilliant effect for the novel. Moments of intense fast paced and inclusive action can be carried out fast and with smooth execution, intriguing the reader and attracting them more and more into the web of deceit that Stephen King has modified to perfection. Throughout the story, we see life through the eyes of a drugged up, writer with a mental block fearing for his life. We realise his complex mind and how his once love affair with a famous character such as Misery Chastain can turn into a battle of hatred and untamed fury. We also see Paul's observation of Annie's mental deterioration. As time passes and Annie becomes more and more dependent of the success of Misery to keep her sane, she ultimately reaches a higher level of insanity; periodically lashing out on the disabled and terrified Paul Sheldon, prolonging his illness and inducing further periods of madness and frustration for both characters.
The writing styles in Misery are unique and work immensely to create the tension and strong relationship between the two characters. A relationship that only a w
riter and his greatest fan can appreciate. Bound by circumstance, insanity and their shared love for Misery Paul and Annie reside in the remote cabin, both thinking and plotting the demise of each other. Annie true and full in her actions, a short tempered butch woman with a fierce paranoia; Paul a weak, disabled writer, drugged on Novril, weary and hateful of his carer. Through the Novel we see how Annie actually enters the mind of Paul, the character you are reading about, through Misery. She believes she can anticipate his every move through the behaviour of Misery and her world. For the most part this is true, it is only when Paul disassociates himself with this world he has created in his psyche can he truly overcome the mind of a possessed madwoman.
There is a downfall to this classic novel. Sometimes, 'Misery' the actually novel the story is based upon is quoted extensively, this can become frustrating at time with the token 'n' missing, but nevertheless it is essential in providing the character with depth and dynamics.
To appreciate this exciting and chilling novel, the reader must first accept the world that King has created. Abandoning any once necessary disbelief, one must fully emerge themselves in this twisted world filled with the potion of promise. Imagine you are Paul Sheldon, helpless in a cabin far away from civilization, drugged against your will; your mind still and hard. The door swings open, you lay in your solitude bed, tired and anxious, Annie smiles at you. Her face glistening, her smile crooked and eyes besieged with a profound evil. Fear is in you now.