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Running Head: Misery by Stephen King (1987) 1 Title: An analysis of how the protagonist in Misery by Stephen King provides fantasies that temporarily relieve readers’ anxieties Name: Course: Instructor’s Name: Date:
Misery by Stephen King (1987) 2 An analysis of how the protagonist in Misery by Stephen King provides fantasies that temporarily relieve readers’ anxieties Misery by Stephen King (1987) narrates the story of Paul Sheldon, a bestselling novelist who is rescued from a fatal accident by his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes. Paul has just finished writing Fast Cars, his most recent novel in which he kills the novel’s heroine, Misery Chastain. He takes champagne, a little too much in celebration of this achievement and wrecks his car. It is in this accident that Annie Wilkes rescues him and keeps him in her solitary home nursing him but as a prisoner. The horror of the novel starts when Annie discovers that Paul killed her favorite character Misery Chastain in his latest book. She thus demands that he rewrites the story, bringing back Misery to life. Throughout the tale, Annie comes across as a psychopath as she tortures Paul convincing him that it is for his own gain (King 1987). King’s depiction of Paul creates a form of fantasy to the reader on escaping the physical and psychological pain. As Annie’s threats escalate, Paul’s urge to write the story rises. Although Paul is a writer, he uses writing in this instance to escape from the pain that Annie inflicts on him. Through this, the readers sympathize with Paul but his deviance into writing relieves their anxieties on chances that he might lose his mind. Largely, the reader fantasizes of how they can also be able to escape their real-life hurdles through engaging in an activity they love. The author’s creation of a terrifying villain in Annie makes the reader relate to the novel more. Through the character of the monstrous Annie, the protagonist is seen to suffer but use his untapped strength in a big way (Magistrale 1992). Paul may never have found how strong he is if
Misery by Stephen King (1987) 3 he was not subjected to torture. The story compels the reader to believe that even in the most horrendous moments in life, they can conquer by finding the will to survive in them.

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