In my reading last night of Stephen King’s The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, I read Chapters 19-23. Here’s what stood out to me:
1. I’ve talked about Larry Underwood and how his Mom considers him to be a taker (see here). In Chapter 19, Larry is more of a giver, for he buys his Mom groceries and paperbacks when she is sick. But, as she dies, he struggles to get rid of a feeling that he has: How will his Mom’s death screw up his plans? He may be selfish, but he’s fighting against his selfishness.
Page 161 has an interesting thought. Larry can’t get an ambulance for his Mom, for the hospital’s line is busy, with so many people being sick with the super-flu. Larry tries to figure out what to do. “Larry decided to go down and see if Mr. Freeman could watch her while he got over to the hospital. Or should he call a private ambulance? [H]ow come nobody knew about these things when they needed to know about them? Why didn’t they teach it in school?”
I wonder that about a lot of things I’m supposed to know as an adult.
2. Chapters 21-22 are about Stu’s experiences. I wondered in my post, Deitz, if Deitz tries to kill Stu in the book for The Stand, as he does in the miniseries. He doesn’t. Somebody else does. Deitz dies before that.
Page 175 has something that I almost overlooked, but which is shocking: the Government hospital actually injected Stu with the superflu virus to see if he would get sick, since it was puzzled as to why Stu wasn’t sick while so many other people were. But Stu’s body killed the virus!
3. Chapter 23 is when we first meet Randall Flagg, the villain of the book. What I get about him so far is that he likes to incite political trouble, and he also gives people a bad feeling. What intrigued me was that page 183 says that Randall could not remember much before the 1960’s, except that he was from Nebraska and attended high school. So Randall Flagg, as powerful as he may be, may not have lived for a long time as IT did, nor does he seem to view himself as eternal.