HomeLiterature Study GuidesItPart 2 Chapter 6 Summary

It | Study Guide

Stephen King

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It | Part 2, Chapter 6 : June of 1958 (One of the Missing: A Tale from the Summer of '58) | Summary

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Summary

Eddie Corcoran is reported missing on the night of June 20, 1958, after failing to come home on June 19, the last day of school. Eddie's parents don't think it is unusual for him to spent a night away from home, because he has a poor relationship with his stepfather, Richard Macklin.

Macklin's abuse of his stepsons is exposed when he is arrested for murdering Eddie's younger brother, Dorsey, the year before. Both boys' teachers come forward to report bruises and other injuries on the boys. Eddie knows Dorsey died because he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and wants to avoid Macklin because Eddie does not have a good report card. Macklin once beat Eddie unconscious for letting a screen door slam.

Eddie wanders through town and ends up near the Kissing Bridge over the canal in Bassey Park. While he sits on the grass, something grabs his foot. He is terrified to see Dorsey in his burial clothes next to the canal. Eddie runs, and Dorsey transforms into the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It catches Eddie and decapitates him.

The next morning Mike Hanlon rides his bike to Bassey Park and finds a pocket knife with the initials E.C. scratched on its side. He sees drops of blood on the grass and on the edge of the canal. These discoveries remind Mike of the day earlier in the spring of 1958 when he explored the ruins of the Kitchener Ironworks. Mike's father often sends him to local landmarks to learn local history firsthand. At the ironworks a giant winged creature, similar to the movie pteranodon Rodan, chases Mike into the factory's fallen chimney. After a long standoff, in which the bird tries to get into the chimney to take Mike while Mike throws pieces of broken tile at the bird, It disappears. Mike runs for his bike and speeds away.

When Mike gets home his father, Will, asks him pointed questions about whether he saw anyone or anything odd at the ironworks. Mike says no, but Will says, "I think I was wrong to send you there" and tells Mike not to go back. Mike agrees.

Back in the park, Mike has a bad feeling as he approaches the canal. He throws the pocketknife in the water and runs to his bike. He hears dragging footsteps behind him as he pedals away. When he sees the news report about Eddie the next day, he connects it to the pocketknife and the blood on the grass. Eddie Corcoran's body is never found.

Analysis

Eddie Corcoran never really had a chance at a normal life, and his chances of surviving to adulthood would have been slim even if It hadn't caught him and dragged him into the canal. His story reveals how the creature under the city has not cornered the market on evil in Derry, although it is possible Macklin's abuse somehow stems from the toxic environment It has created in the city. Child abusers live everywhere, though, so it's equally possible Macklin is just a bad man who beats an innocent child to death while the child begs him to stop and says, "I love you, Daddy." Dorsey's pleas don't break through Macklin's violent rage and evil nature, so Eddie is right to fear going home.

Because Eddie has no safe place to go after school, his death and disappearance seem even more heartbreaking. It uses Eddie's brother, Dorsey, as a guise, adding insult to literal injury. It reminds Eddie of his grief for his brother—just as It will later repeatedly remind Bill Denbrough of his grief for Georgie—and uses Dorsey as a reminder of why Eddie can't be safe at home in the first place.

Mike Hanlon's relationship with his father, Will, stands in sharp contrast to Eddie's tragic home life. Will Hanlon sends Mike out into town on various expeditions to encourage his son's curiosity and independence as well as his understanding of the town where he lives. In Chapter 6, these expeditions appear to be intended simply as fun and enriching experiences for Mike. They clearly inspire Mike's interest in local history. However, in Derry: The Second Interlude, when Will recounts his experience with racism in Derry and the fire at the Black Spot, Mike's informal field trips take on a different cast. Will wants Mike to understand Derry's dark side so he can know what he's dealing with.

What exactly Will thinks Mike is dealing with in Derry is not entirely clear. Surely as a black child growing up in a mostly white town with a history of racist violence, Will wants Mike to understand the violent history of the town, the lack of value Derry places on human life. Such knowledge will help Mike protect himself. However, Will asks oddly pointed questions about whether Mike sees anything unusual at the ironworks, as if he expects to hear something strange. Again, these questions could be simple concern as Will realizes he has sent his son to an abandoned area while a killer is on the loose and a curfew is in effect. In Derry: The Second Interlude, Will reveals seeing a giant bird snatch a man at the scene of the fire at the Black Spot, so it's possible Will is looking for confirmation of his own strange experience.

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