Literature Study GuidesItDerry The Last Interlude Summary

It | Study Guide

Stephen King

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It | Derry: The Last Interlude | Summary

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Summary

Bill comes to visit Mike in the hospital. Audra remains catatonic, and Mike suggests they use his house while he continues his recovery for another week. Richie has already flown back to California. Bill says Beverly plans to return to Chicago, probably with Ben, and file a missing persons report on Tom. Bill thinks Beverly is already forgetting what happened to Tom, and he doubts an investigation will bear any fruit.

They're all forgetting. The day after Bill's visit, Ben and Beverly stop by to visit Mike before they set out in a rented Cadillac for Nebraska. When Mike calls Richie in California he notices "obvious bewilderment" in Richie's voice. They chat about music and Audra's condition, but neither man can remember Stan's last name. Because Mike is forgetting, Richie says, "This time it's really over."

When Mike speaks to Bill again, Bill remembers Eddie had asthma, but Mike doesn't. Neither of them remember Eddie's last name. Mike sees the Losers' names and phone numbers are fading from his address book. When he dials Ben's number, it has been disconnected.

Mike describes Derry's rapid decline after the storm. Plans to expand the auditorium are off, and the Derry Mall is likely to be condemned. Other investors, such as Raytheon, are canceling projects. Police Chief Rademacher is crushed by a tramp chair that falls through its storage space in the courthouse attic into the chief's temporary office.

At the end of his week in the hospital, Mike speaks to Bill about Audra again, and Bill says he has an idea to help her. Mike concludes his diary at peace with forgetting "Derry's old scandals and eccentricities" and expressing his love for the friends he is forgetting.

Analysis

Mike feels obviously conflicted feelings about forgetting his friends. He loves them and already misses them, but with forgetting them comes the belief It has finally been killed. The forgetting carries no guarantee Ben indeed smashed all the creature's eggs, but it is possible he did. Even as Mike forgets his friends, he tries to hang on to them, calling Richie in California and then Ben and Beverly in Nebraska, asking Bill if he remembers Stan's last name and Eddie's ailment. Mike only gives up and accepts the forgetting when he sees the ink fading in his address book. He knows the forgetting is real; trying to hold on is futile. Forgetting what has happened is probably for the best.

The end of It brings Ben happiness; he is no longer the loneliest man in the world. Beverly is finally with someone who loves her and isn't married to someone else. They will probably forget the details of how they got together in Derry, but as the epilogue and Chapter 10 indicate, deep feelings remain even when detailed memories are lost.

As a city Derry is adjusting to the new state of being. The city's prosperity under the creature's influence and protection is waning quickly. Previous investors are losing money, and new investors are disinclined to get involved. Chief Rademacher's death shows "what goes around comes around" in an especially gruesome way. The chief, who has spent months explaining away the murders and disappearances of children, is crushed by a tramp chair—a wrought-iron cage shaped like a chair, designed by law enforcement to deter hobos and tramps in Maine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tramps and hobos were seated in the chair, locked in, and wheeled out of town while the citizens threw things at them. It seems poetic justice for the useless police chief to die under such a cruel device.

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