midterm paper

midterm paper - Alyssa Adams ENGU 408 Modern Bestsellers...

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Alyssa Adams ENGU 408 Modern Bestsellers Professor Goshgarian Midterm Paper Due 3/2/07 Misery Question #3 When the author Paul Sheldon is first brought to Annie Wilkes’ house, battered and bruised, he has been almost completely stripped of his free will. He is so consumed by the pain of his injuries that his only priority is alleviating his pain and does whatever is asked of him for such relief. For some time Annie asks nothing of Paul except that he takes his pills and recuperate. When Annie is allowed to read Paul’s manuscript, however, things take a darker turn and her more evil characteristics begin to show. Annie forces Paul to burn his book, but tells him, “You must do it of your own free will” (45). She does not realize that there is no free will in the situation, being given the choice to burn his manuscript or face physical punishment is clearly no choice at all. Unfortunately, Paul is not able to escape such punishment when Annie Wilkes concludes his latest Misery book. This is where the main metaphor of the story begins to develop. Up until this point in the novel, Paul can only rely on his hopes that he will be rescued to keep himself going. When Annie presents him with the idea that he will write a new Misery book to rectify his “mistake” and entirely new option is open to him. By writing a book for Annie, to make her happy and keep her from harming him, Paul can gain some control over the situation. Suddenly he would be in charge of his survival rather than continue to be at the complete mercy of his captor. Paul experiences, first-hand, Annie Wilkes’ anger over his first attempt at a chapter from a new Misery novel and it is then that he finally realizes he must write for
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his life. According to the legend, Scheherazade was the wife of a sultan who had a reputation for getting easily bored with his wives. Usually when this occurred the sultan would chop off his wife’s head and go in search of a new companion. To keep herself from being killed, Scheherazade told stories to her husband for a thousand-and-one nights. After facing Annie’s wrath at his first failed attempt, Paul tries again and this time is a great deal more successful. The similarity between his life and Scheherazade’s is not lost on the reader when he asks Annie if he should continue and she replies, “I’ll kill you if you don’t!” (149) It is also at this point in time that Sheldon realizes that to achieve his number one goal of getting out alive he must focus, rather, on writing his story as best as he possibly can. It becomes the new controlling factor in his life, what his life depends on, when he admits to himself that “so began the thousand and one nights of Paul Sheldon” (150). Paul’s writing becomes like an addiction to Annie, she does not want to kill him
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ENG 408 taught by Professor Goshgarian during the Spring '07 term at Northeastern.

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midterm paper - Alyssa Adams ENGU 408 Modern Bestsellers...

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