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Literature Study GuidesItPart 3 Chapter 10 Summary

It | Study Guide

Stephen King

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It | Part 3, Chapter 10 : Grownups (The Reunion) | Summary



On May 30, 1985, Mike Hanlon arranges a lunch for the Losers at a Chinese restaurant near the Derry Mall, now located on the former site of the Kitchener Ironworks. Bill takes a cab to the restaurant and marvels at how much Derry has grown—banks downtown, glass and concrete additions to Derry Home Hospital, new stores. Other things, such as the Standpipe, the Kissing Bridge, and the Aladdin Theater, remain the same.

Over lunch the Losers assess how much they have changed. Bill is bald. Ben is thin. Beverly is beautiful. Mike looks older than his years. Everyone except Mike has a high-profile career in a highly competitive field. Mike believes their success is somehow related to their connection to It and to each other. His fortunes have been modest because he has remained in Derry, watching and waiting.

Mike tells the group about Stan's suicide and details the string of events beginning with the murder of Adrian Mellon. Nine children have been killed in the last year. Georgie's old school photo was found near one of the victim's bodies in March. The last victim's remains are nearly unrecognizable, but scrawled in blood on a wall near the body are the words, "come home come home come home." This prompts Mike to act.

Mike believes the Losers nearly killed It in 1958 and It has called them back to exact revenge. He summarizes Derry's long history of disproportionately high crime rates and the cycles of intense violence every 27 or 28 years dating back to the 1700s. Each cycle begins and ends with a dramatic event. Mike points out how little media coverage these events receive. Nine dead children in less than a year should be national news, but he thinks It has ways of keeping Derry out of the spotlight. Derry's residents also turn a blind eye. It has made the town hard as it has made the town prosperous.

The other Losers have only hazy memories of 1958, and even Mike doesn't know how they defeated It. They wonder if they can do it again, and Mike points out how none of them have children, even though none of them have a medical reason to be childless. They decide to stay and try to remember, to fulfill their promise.

It responds by sending the group fortune cookies filled with gruesome items. Beverly's cookie bleeds, an echo of her fight with Tom. Eddie's cookie contains a cricket—like the ones infesting his basement. Bill's cookie contains a fly—a reference to a story idea he has. The waitress sees none of these things. The Losers part ways to explore Derry on their own and recover some memories. They agree to meet at the library later.


At the reunion lunch Mike speaks directly about the issues implied in Chapter 3. The Losers have become successful because of their connection to Derry and It. Mike says It has left a mark on them, which implies the creature is somehow responsible for their success. Derry provides evidence It can bestow prosperity, as the town and its economy have grown substantially since 1958. However, whether It has deliberately allowed the Losers to succeed or their success is based on a residual effect of their contact with It remains unclear.

On one hand, readers wonder why It would reward six people after they nearly killed the creature. The invitation to "come home, come home, come home" also indicates It wants the Losers to come back so It can exact revenge on them. However, Mike doesn't share in the others' wealth and fame, because he has remained in Derry. This indicates the success bestowed upon the Losers' Club is intended to give them lives sufficiently wonderful to keep them from yearning to return to Derry or to keep them too busy to return.

In a similar vein, none of the Losers have children, even though none of them show evidence of medical infertility and some of them want children badly. On one hand, It may have somehow prevented them from having children as a punishment for their attack in 1958—a trade-off of sorts for the otherwise idyllic lives they lead. But it is more likely something else keeps them from reproducing. The Losers are vaguely aware a force for good brought them together in 1958 and has kept them childless so they can complete their mission. In some ways parenthood is the ultimate mark of growing up, though certainly people without children can live fulfilled adult lives; Richie and Ben are childless because they choose to be and are not lesser adults because of it.

At the same time having a child solidifies an adult's role as the adult, the caretaker, the responsible party. If any of the Losers had children, they might not be available to return to Derry without a clear explanation and take part in a dangerous and possibly foolhardy mission. They couldn't risk orphaning their children. Because the Losers have no children, they have a better opportunity to access the carefree nature of their childhood selves and are free to wade into danger with fewer consequences. Mike thinks their childlessness gives them a chance at defeating It, and he doesn't think this is an accident or coincidence. The Losers can't be responsible for taking care of a few of their own children until they have successfully saved all the children of Derry from It.

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