“When I sat back and thought about what scared children the most. I could not go beyond the thought of a clown smiling.”
“No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.”
A monster is on the loose and after having come into an altercation with It (a term they resorted to calling the entity after having discovered that it does not pertain to a single form), they decide to end this gruesome cycle of mindless murders, especially of children. From the start of the tale’s events to the very climax, they have stood by each other and when one of them fails to make it through after they come back to kill the monster as grownups, the emotions that surge through each one of them shows that their houses indeed exist in each others’ hearts.
“We’ll see if you remember the simplest thing of all – how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus, afraid of the dark.”
The imagination of a child is the most vivid thing one can come across. As we grow older, we start to lose that ability to think freely and be utmost creative with what we have at our disposal. As the imaginations are vivid, so are the fears and corresponding mental constructions. The innocence that a child carries, gives birth to its curiosity to know the unknown and try to decipher the incomprehensible. Beverly remained oblivious of the role sexuality had to play in a person’s life and uses the very act to forge a bond between the seven of them. To an adult, it would seem disgusting and they would be quick to judge, berating the child with terms she knows nothing about. It was the innocence of Georgie (Bill’s younger brother) which led him to believe that a man can live under the sewer as he met Pennywise when his boat went down the storm drain.
The simple question: “Will this boat float?” to “Will the aspirator medicine give me cancer?” to “Can we kill It?” is a clear testimony as to how children deal with everyday issues and likely dilemmas. The answer to the general overview being that they are not deterred from thinking the unthinkable.
“It is offense you, maybe, can’t live with because it opens a crack inside your thinking and if you look down there, you would see evil things.”
The fear is not the usual horror movie kind where it just comes out of nowhere. King plays with the fears associated with human psyche like the fear of insanity creeping into a man like when Tom decides to beat the shit out of Beverly’s friend to get to her and the continuous fear of Henry and his friends who meant to kill the members of the Loser’s Club or the fear of facing a fear long forgotten making the person possessing such a fear kill himself. (Kind of a fear-recursion there) The mere fact that six of them (Stan kills himself on remembering the past, particularly It and their final confrontation. The earlier sentence’s latter reference) are forced to come back twenty seven years after they had almost killed It makes it certain that some things are so horrendous that it leaves a scar that just doesn’t end with a convenient closure.
IV. Past. Present. Future?
“You can’t be careful on a skateboard.”
With age they had forgotten the essence of their friendship which this promise brought back and made Bill realize that as they grew up, they had left behind the power that they commanded as a child. The power of conviction. Santa Claus is real if you are a child, for you believe it to be so. With reasoning, which comes with age and experience, you lose that very ability to indulge yourself in such fantasies.
V. The Clown
"They all float down here! We all float!"
Pennywise easily takes the cake over any of the It's avatar including the final form of the spider when the ritual of Chüd (a ritual to subdue the monster. Beyond that I would rather not spoil it for the ones who haven't read the book) is performed. The fear of the clown is prominent and the way it is used throughout the story is what kept most of us eagerly engrossed.
King has stated his belief in the concept of hell and heaven over and over again at many a convention and interviews and this in itself is the driving factor in most of his stories. It is a journey (Yes, a journey more than just a tale) that is slow at times, intense at others and scary for the most part of it. The best part of this novel remains that you can somewhat predict as to how it is going to pan out and yet your curiosity is no less dimmed.
It is a thing to savour. Do It that favour.
(Provided if you haven't)