It Themes and Analysis

‘It’ is a book that taps into themes that relate to our daily lives, from seeking revenge to coming of age and maturity.

‘It’ is about the story of seven 11-year-old children called the losers club, who face a monster called It. Though they have a different life and social problems and face constant bullying, they still fight off the monster who showed himself in their greatest fear. Twenty-seven years later, after a series of tragic events awaken It. The Losers club fight It once again, defeating him once and for all.

Themes and analysis of events in It by Stephen King


It Themes

The Victory of Good Over Evil

Throughout the entire book, the losers club faced evil in different forms. From facing Henry Bowers, a bully who terrorized them to facing It and facing the family and social problems they had, they triumphed in the end. It showed that though the losers club were inexperienced weaklings fighting a monster as old as the universe, their will to fight for what was good triumphed over the evil that had encompassed their town, Derry.

Even twenty-seven years after their first encounter, the Losers club had to face the evil they had defeated again. Even though they were grownups, the club still had to fight much evil manifesting in the form of their personal lives, relationships, and love lives. The triumph of the Losers club over their life problems and It showed that good wins in the end.

Bravery

Stephen King showed bravery as a virtue possessed by the members of the Losers club. Throughout the book, the losers club showed valiance and bravery in dealing with the situations around them.

The bravery of the Losers club contradicted the name they gave themselves, and that bravery led to them ending the monster twenty-seven years later. Ben showed bravery as he fought It, killing him. Other members of the Losers club also showed bravery as they fought It in the form of their fears. The Losers club also fought their social problems with bravery by defeating Henry, who had terrorized them for a long time. Twenty-seven years after their valiance had made them send ‘It’ to sleep, the Losers club still stood their ground in ending It once and for all.

Coming of Age

The is a major theme Stephen King defined in his book. ‘It’ is the journey that showed how each member of the losers club matured into brave adults. The book showed the transition of every member of the losers club from childhood into adulthood. The crucial point marking their transition into adulthood was Beverly having sex with the boys, this showed the losers club getting rid of their innocence and transitioning into adulthood.

Fear

Though the losers club showed bravery, they were terrified throughout the book. Stephen King defined ‘It’ as an epitome of fear as each member of the Losers club had a cross to bear. The burden each member of the Losers club had made It exploit them in the form of what they feared the most. The entire group experiences fear in its final form with Bill having to face the spirit of his dead brother, whom he loved but got killed by It.

Fear coursed throughout the book as horror kept seeping from the corners, making everyone experience it. Each grueling scene from the book enhanced the feeling of a monster watching and waiting to pounce on its reader. Fear also leads to the death of many people in the book, from Stan killing himself twenty-seven years after they had first fought the monster due to him too scared to want to face ‘It’ again to Tom Rogan dying from fear and shock of seeing It in its final form.

‘It’ showed that though people get brave amid trouble, fear is a tool even more powerful when it is in the form of what we dread the most.

Revenge

The need to get revenge was Stephen King’s weapon to add elements like bravery into the story of ‘It.’ Bill was just a stuttering little boy whose drive to get revenge for his dead brother leads him to fight a powerful ancient entity. Stephen King showed that revenge knows no age as the losers club were only but a bunch of children fueled by revenge and a goal to defeat the monster that had terrorized them.

Stephen King did not limit the drive for revenge to only the losers club as other characters in the book sought vengeance. Henry swore vengeance on the losers club after they won in a stone fight. Henry’s quest for revenge was the tool used by It to cajole Henry into wanting to kill the Losers club. Though he was arrested and sent to an asylum, Henry’s quest for vengeance did not stop as he returned for his pound of flesh 27 years later.

Another character who sought revenge was the monster It itself. Having felt defeated by children, It sought to destroy the lives of the losers club by targeting their loved ones, specifically Audra, Bill’s wife, though It got a part of its revenge by killing Eddie.

Analysis of Key Moments In It

  1. In October of 1957, George gets killed by a clown who called himself Pennywise after his boat had washed down the gutter.
  2. The following year, a group of bullies led by Henry Bowers tries to hurt a fat 11-year-old boy call Ben, who escapes and meets six other kids, namely Eddie, Richie, Stan, Beverly, Mike, and Bill. They name themselves the losers club.
  3. The Losers club share their experience of encountering a monster that came in the form of their fears. They call the entity It.
  4. The Losers club link murders and tragic events to It as they start unraveling how long the monster had been terrorizing Derry.
  5. Mike tells the group how he was chased by a prehistoric bird making the group figure out that It was more ancient than they thought.
  6. The Losers club fight and win Henry and his gang in a stone fight with Henry promising revenge.
  7. The Losers club decides to perform a native American smoke hole ceremony to hallucinate It’s origin. The group discovers It was millions of years old, and it hibernates for 27 years, awakening after a tragic event.
  8. Henry breaks Eddie’s arm in July, hospitalizing him.
  9. Beverly witnesses the death of Patrick, one of Henry’s gang members. The Losers club head to the scene where writing from ‘It’ warned them to steer off his path.
  10. It tells his story of how he existed in a void between our universe and other universes. He called the void the macro verse.
  11. The Losers club fights a werewolf, an alternate form of It. They successfully injure the werewolf with two silver slugs Ben made.
  12. It sends Henry after the club giving him a switchblade with which he killed his father.
  13. Henry and his friends head into the sewers to kill the losers club but face Frankenstein, an alternate version of It. Henry’s friends die, but he escapes and is sent to an asylum by the authorities.
  14. Bill discovers a ritual called the ritual of Chud, which made him enter the macro verse where he met Maturin, the turtle who created the universe.
  15. Bill finally forces It to sleep with the help of Maturin, who told him he could only win through the battle of wills.
  16. Twenty-seven years later, It awakens, and Mike calls the group to fulfill the promise they made to return should anything happen again.
  17. On getting a call, Stan kills himself, writing ‘It’ on the wall.
  18. The group of now six decides to kill It once and for all.
  19. The group fights alternate forms of It separately while exploring the town to refresh their memory.
  20. Audra, Bill’s wife, Tom Rogan, Beverly’s husband, and Henry also arrive in Derry.
  21. Henry attacks Mike and is injured. After being instructed by It, Henry tries to kill Eddie but dies in the process.
  22. Tom kidnaps Audra and brings her to It, where he dies of shock with Audra entering a state of catatonia.
  23. The Losers club head to fight It but get lost in its mind after using the ritual of Chud.
  24. Eddie sacrifices himself to save his friends, and Bill finally kills It.


Style, Tone, and Figurative Language of It

The tone used throughout ‘It’ was a scary, frightening, and threatening tone. Throughout the entire book, Stephen King used terrifying explanations to make the reader feel on edge. The book itself makes each character be in a scary situation where one wrong move could blur the line between life and death. Throughout I Stephen King ensured scenes explicitly inflicted fear on the reader’s mind.

Though each character exhibited a little bit of freedom from the author, they still conformed to the rules of the book, which allowed them to face the terror unleashed at every angle of perspective by the storyteller. Stephen King’s deliberate alternation between timelines and his epistolary writing form, which used a combination of letters, magazine articles, and news clippings from books, gave ‘It’ true realism, which made each part of the story have a vivid effect on the reader.

The last part of ‘It’ showed Stephen King’s exceptional use of figurative language. The statement that read:

Or so Bill sometimes thinks on those early mornings after dreaming, when he almost remembers his childhood and the friends with whom he shared it.

Is a metaphor comparing a dreamer, who remembers to a storyteller who writes, and it shows they are bound by the same fate. Other figurative languages include similes and personification. An example is Ben’s poem which reads:

Your hair is winter fire,

January embers.

My heart burns there, too.

This was a poem written by Ben for Beverly. The poem acts as Ben’s tool in telling Beverly what he felt for her.

Narrative Point of View

As a post-modernist novel, there are many techniques adapted in the writing if ‘It.’ Stephen King employed writing in the third person/omniscient point of view. This perspective of writing allows the storyteller to be the sole controller of events happening in the story. Stephen King’s epistolary form of writing was also adapted in creating ‘It’. Epistolary writing involves the use of quotes, news clippings and literary materials from others to make a writing more realistic and give life to characters and events.

Analysis of Symbols in It

Silver

Bill’s old bicycle represents something Stephen King portrays throughout the book, the innocence of childhood, something Bill and the rest of the losers club eventually lose when they matured into adulthood. Silver also represented not wanting to let go of the past and the memories we keep with us even when let go of everything else.

Boat

Bill made a boat for George to play with, but instead, George dies because of the paper boat Bill made. The paper boat represents a painful past for Bill, a haunting feeling that he was responsible for the death of his brother, George. This feeling eventually becomes Bill’s greatest fear, a fear used against him by ‘It.’

Derry’s Canal

Derry’s canal represents something that relates to our society today. ‘It’ represents the evil and corruption beneath a society that seems okay.

The Refrigerator

The refrigerator used by Patrick represents what happens when one stores their deepest darkest thoughts for a long time. The fridge represents a mind tormented with dark thoughts, thoughts that eventually ends up killing one.

It

Though a character in the book, It symbolizes something else, one’s greatest fear. It was a monster who manifested in the form of what its prey feared, giving it an upper hand. The book showed that if not tamed, one’s fear could end up being our waterloo.

FAQs

What is the main theme of ‘It’?

The main theme of It is the victory of good over evil. It represents the embodiment of evil, while the Losers club represents the force of good.

Is ‘It’ appropriate for children?

No, It is not appropriate for children and even 13 year-olds. the book’s raw depiction of gruel deaths, profane language, and pre-aged sex makes it inappropriate for children

Is ‘It’ based on a true story?

No, It is a work of fiction and Stephen King’s inspiration was the children’s story Three Billy Goats Gruff.

What is Stephen King’s writing style?

Stephen King uses an epistolary form of writing where he takes news clippings, and quotes from other books giving an outstanding realism to his stories.

Did Audra die in ‘It’?

No, she entered a catatonic state on seeing the true form It. She was revived by Bill after he took her on a ride on Silver, his old bicycle.

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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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