What Have You Done?; Boo’ya Moon

I have two items for my write-up today on Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story:

1.  A significant part of the book is when Scott’s father kills Scott’s brother, Paul, because Paul is going mad, and even undergoing dramatic physical transformations.  Before killing Paul, however, Scott’s father chains Paul in a cellar.  Page 304 has a passage that is quite jarring, and also confusing.  It discusses what happened immediately after Paul died.

“For a moment or two longer [Paul] hangs from the circle of his father’s arm like a ragdoll or a puppet whose strings have been cut, then Landon slowly lowers him down and Scott knows his father is seeing what Scott wanted him to see: just a boy.  Just an innocent boy who has been chained in the cellar by his lunatic father and dogsbody younger brother, then starved until he’s rack-thin and covered with sores; a boy who has struggled so pitifully hard for his freedom that he actually moved the steel post and the cruelly heavy table to which he has been chained.  A boy who has lived three nightmare weeks as a prisoner down here before finally being shot in the head.”

This passage was jarring to me because it made me ask Scott’s father (in my mind, of course), “What have you done?”  But the passage also confused me because it made me wonder to what extent Paul’s madness was something that was in the minds of Scott and Scott’s father, since they, too, had a degree of craziness.  Were Scott and Scott’s father exaggerating Paul’s madness?

2.  My reading last night went into more detail about Boo’ya Moon, a sort of alternative reality that Scott has visited throughout his life.  There, Scott (and other people) find healing and inspiration.  Scott also buried Paul there so that the police would not find Paul’s corpse and arrest Scott’s father.  But the Boo’ya Moon can also be a dangerous place on account of laughing creatures who come out at night—-creatures who walk on all-fours, yet sometimes stand upright.  The part of the book about Lisey’s two visits to Boo-ya Moon (and Stephen King alternates between both visits) was rather dream-like.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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