Literature Study GuidesItPart 4 Chapter 18 Summary

It | Study Guide

Stephen King

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It | Part 4, Chapter 18 : July of 1958 (The Bullseye) | Summary



Ben takes his turn to share his memories of 1958 in the library. He shows the others the H scar on his belly and another scar bisecting it—which just reappeared. They remember Ben got the scar from the werewolf in the house on Neibolt Street. Bill blames himself for the scar, for Stan, for everything. They take a moment to grieve for Stan before remembering their foray to Neibolt Street in 1958.

After much research at the library that July, the Losers figure out how to make slugs. In Zack Denbrough's workshop, Ben melts one of his silver dollars with a blowtorch and uses molds purchased from Kitchener Tool and Die to shape the slugs. Thus they are armed when they go to Neibolt Street.

The Losers enter the abandoned house through the cellar and make their way upstairs, encountering rats, strange odors, and strange sounds. The dimensions and angles inside the house become distorted as they move through the rooms, making it difficult for them to stay together. Stan panics at the disorder, and they remind him it's all an illusion. Stan says, "You've got your brother, Bill, but I don't have anything." Bill reminds Stan of his birds, which convinces Stan to press on.

In a bathroom with a broken toilet bowl, the Losers realize they have found one of the creature's portals into the aboveground world. Ben peers into the drain and sees in his mind It is racing through the pipes toward them. It emerges as a "silvery-orange shifting shape" before assuming the form of the werewolf. Beverly shoots at It and misses. As she fumbles for the second slug in the pocket of her too-tight jeans, It goes after Ben. As they fight, Ben pokes the creature's eye, and the werewolf claws Ben's stomach.

Overcome with clarity in the chaos, Beverly shoots the second slug into the creature's face. The wound gushes blood, and It screams. The others shout at Beverly to kill It, but Beverly has no more ammo. It believes she does have another slug and retreats down the drain threatening to kill them all.

The Losers help Ben out of the house. Bill gives Beverly his shirt because the buttons have popped off hers. Bill notices Beverly as a girl for the first time, and Ben thinks, "If that's the way it is. But you'll never love her the way I do. Never." They all return to the clubhouse to regroup and form a new plan. Ben reflects on the power they have, the power It has, and where the power originates.


One of the burdens of leading a group of people on a death-defying mission is the sense of responsibility for what happens to them. As the leader of the Losers' Club, Bill has an overdeveloped sense of guilt about Ben's old injuries and Stan's recent fate. Bill's sense of guilt traces all the way back to the beginning—to his feelings about Georgie's murder—but he finds new ways to express his guilt. However, if Bill is correct in thinking fate has brought the group together, Ben ends up in the path of the werewolf because of forces entirely beyond Bill's or Ben's control.

Even though Ben gets hurt in the melee with the werewolf, Ben is the one who makes the foray to Neibolt Street possible. He is the one with the know-how to make the silver slugs. He also supplies the silver. The source of the slug molds indicates how deeply connected the past and present are in Derry. Without the silver slugs to protect them, the Losers would never even try this expedition.

Stan's suicide is tragic, but Stan is never committed to fighting It in the same way the others are. He resists even believing It exists, when he slams the photo album shut in Chapter 14 with a resounding "No!" When the Losers go to the house on Neibolt Street, Stan resists again. He knows Bill has a reason to be in this fight, his lost brother. Stan doesn't believe he has a connection to the battle in the same way, and he doesn't believe he has any special abilities or powers to bring to the table. The others remind him of his birds because Stan's love of birdwatching is what captures his imagination, and it protects him. When it comes time to return to Derry to fight It again, Stan's resolve finally gives out, and there are no Losers in his Atlanta bathroom to support him and talk him through it one more time. It kills Stan because he is isolated, just as it preys on so many other isolated children and adults.

After Neibolt Street, Ben's love for Beverly and Beverly's love for Bill turns into a true love triangle when Bill notices Beverly's figure for the first time. This development only strengthens Ben's certainty his love for Beverly is purer than Bill's could ever be. Ben's love for Beverly is partially based on her beauty, but Bill's attentions are more sexual. Ben believes he will never have Beverly, but he loves her anyway. On the other hand Bill—on some level—knows Beverly has feelings for him as well.

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