About the Book

Book Protagonist: Carrie, Tommy, Sue
Publication Date: 1974
Genre: Horror



By Stephen King

With its themes of vengeance, pain, and sadness, ’Carrie’ draws upon quotes to give the reader a deeper dive into the mind of the novel’s omniscient narrator.

‘Carrie’ is a novel filled with many quotes that project the mind of its tortured main character, Carrie. Because the story narrates from the first-person point of view of secondary characters to give the story more detail, many quotes give insight into how everyone individually viewed Carrie.


Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It’s what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you’re bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.

The quote above explains different concepts and combines them into a single statement. Carrie was a girl who faced humiliation for no reason other than existing. Though she was never at fault for not understanding what menstruation was, she still got laughed at and humiliated. Throughout her short life, Carrie never heard the word sorry, and though this seemed irrelevant, it was a primary cause for her going ballistic at prom. Even though Sue felt sorry and tried to atone for her guilt, she never told Carrie she was sorry till it was too late.

The narrator used this quote to explain that though sorry may not cure hurt and may not heal the scars of pain, it can provide relief to a hurt soul. The second part of the quote explains that sorrow is a feeling that cannot fade. Just as true love feels pure and never-ending, Stephen King described sorrow as never-ending. Carrie felt sorrow, a pain she knew would stain her no matter how she changed or how happy she tried to get. Her sorrow made her give up and unleash destruction in a way she would have never imagined.

And then the world exploded.

And then the world exploded, a phrase that shows the height of bottling up emotions. The quote above though short, says a lot of words about the psychic of a tormented person like Carrie. It describes the singular point where every bottled-up emotion of fear, hate, sorrow, and pain come rushing out. After Carrie gets humiliated in front of the entire school for the last time, she unleashes terror on everyone.

After she had locked all her classmates in the school, she caused an explosion which burned almost everyone, and walked down the street, that was when she let go completely. From the testimony of those rushing to the fire, a gruesome description of Carrie ensued as they noticed a blood-drenched girl smiling in the middle of the street. As Carrie walked down the road, it was no longer revenge but ecstasy and pleasure from knowing that all her problems burned in the building.

And suddenly it didn’t seem to matter anymore, nothing would matter if she could turn over, turn over and see the stars, turn over and look once and die.

When the ecstasy from sorrow courses through the veins of a tortured person, it fades and leaves a hole filled with undiluted pain, rejection, and regret. After Carrie had killed those she felt needed to die, she went home to seek the comfort of her mentally tormented mother.

Carrie thought her mother would open her arms and embrace her out of love. However, Carrie met a woman who was not her mother. She met a woman who had become so drenched in her fanatical religious beliefs that she tried to kill her daughter, believing she was a spawn of Satan. After getting stabbed in the shoulder, Carrie faced her arch-enemy, Chris, and killed her. After Chris died, Carrie fell to the ground as the feelings of rejection and sorrow came rushing in. It was at this point that Carrie imagined how her death would feel. She imagined how lonely the demise of the high school reject would feel.

Stereotypical Love

They had become a fixed star in the shifting firmament of the high school’s relationships, the acknowledged Romeo and Juliet. And she knew with sudden hatefulness that there was one couple like them in every white suburban high school in America.

Sue was a girl who wanted it all, a beautiful prom dress, a handsome boyfriend, and the best love life in all of her high school. However, she realized that her dream was as stereotypical as anything she could imagine. Sue realized that her dream of becoming the prom queen was a dream almost all girls wanted, a dream most beautiful girls in different schools dreamed of; this made her resent herself. After seeing that what she wanted was nothing special, Sue decided to ask her boyfriend to ask Carrie out to prom, a request that destroys the lives of more than four hundred people.


Jesus watches from the wall, but his face is cold as stone, and if he loves me as she tells me, why do I feel so all alone?

The quote above is a poem written by Carrie. The poem gave a deep dive into the mind of Carrie and showed that she felt isolated from the rest of the world. As a young teenage girl, Carrie wanted to live normally. However, she could not fulfill her dreams because of her mother, a mentally troubled woman with a religiously fanatical belief. The novel showed Carrie’s desperate struggle to get treated as a person which was the main theme of ‘Carrie’.


She did not know if her gift had come from the lord of light or of darkness, and now, finally finding that she did not care which, she was overcome with an almost indescribable relief, as if a huge weight, long carried, had slipped from her shoulders.

After getting bullied by everyone, Carrie discovered she had a super ability that let her move objects with her mind. On discovering she was special, Carrie felt a sudden feeling of fear as the teachings from her mother made her deliberate on whether she was blessed or cursed for being a reject. However, Carrie realized that she did not care about where her power came from as she found it to be a special thing about herself. Carrie’s powers gave her the thrill that she had never felt all her sad, depressing life.


In the sudden, brief silence, she heard something within her turn over. Perhaps only her soul.

The quote above explains what sue felt after discovering she was pregnant and that an accident had occurred in her school. After asking Tommy to ask Carrie to prom, Sue felt like she was atoning for her errors. However, into the night, a telepathic message from Carrie made Sue discover that everything had gone wrong; then (coupled with the fact that she was late on her period), she realized that she had made a mistake. Sue eventually met Carrie almost dead in the parking lot, and after making peace with her, Carrie died. Though Carrie forgave her, Sue continued feeling the guilt of letting Tommy ask Carrie to prom.


And when she talks of Carrie White her face takes on an odd pinched look that is more like Lovecraft out of Arkham than Kerouac out of Southern Cal.

The memory of Carrie after she died became so haunting that thinking about it brought fear to the mind of people who knew her. Stella Horan was Carrie’s neighbor, and one thing she always felt was sadness that a once innocent girl like Carrie had to face the worst troubles of living. After her death, Carrie became a scar that could never fade from the minds of those who experienced her terror.

The over-all impression is one of a town that is waiting to die. It is not enough, these days, to say that Chamberlain will never be the same. It may be closer to the truth to say that Chamberlain will simply never again be.

Carrie left a stain on Chamberlain, and even after she died, the town never recovered from the events of the high school prom night. After Carrie’s rampage, more than four hundred people lost their lives. However, the figures were not immediate as everyday dead people got pulled out of the rubble left by the destruction.

They came to see what happened to their town, to see if it was indeed lying burnt and bleeding. Many of them also came to die.

After Chamberlain faced the terror of Carrie, a massive influx of both the press and curious people flocked Chamberlain to see what had happened. People met a town that would never stand the same as the death and destruction razed buildings to the ground and left people grief-stricken from losing their loved ones.


What is the message of ‘Carrie?’

‘Carrie’ is a novel that opens up the mind of a tortured girl desperately trying to fit in among her peers. ‘Carrie’ showed a relatable depiction of how bullied teenagers think and act when they realize their lives will never get better.

Are Carrie’s powers evil?

Though the thinking of the source of her powers scared her, Carrie became indifferent about her power source. However, later in the novel, it gets explained that Carrie’s powers are scientific and they are genetically transmittable.

How is Carrie described in the novel?

In the novel, Carrie is slightly unattractive and overweight. Her skin was pale, and her hair blonde. In the story, Carrie hated the pimples on her neck and back.

What quote best describes Carrie’s mind after she got humiliated by Chris?

The best quote that explains Carrie’s mind after her ordeal is:
“And then the world exploded.”

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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