A Secret Government Agency in Stephen King's Firestarter
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Many of Stephen King’s stories involve characters with powers and governments that withhold secrets from the public; Firestarter is a prime example of this sub genre. King wrote Firestarter in 1980, during a period of social change regarding women’s equality and the beginning of third-wave feminism. King’s use of setting, characters, and imagery connect the plot to the themes surrounding concerns of that time.
The story in this book focuses on Andy McGee and his daughter Charlie, and the the secret government agency trying to track them down. “The Shop” as they call it performed experiments on many students that eventually caused slight psychological powers such as telekinesis in those that took a drug called Lot 6. Both Andy and his eventual wife participated in this experiment and developed powers that had multiple limitations. However, when they had Charlie, both The Shop and her parents saw that she had a pyrokinetic ability with no distinguishable side effects. This lead to The Shop killing her mother and kidnapping her in an attempt to use her as a weapon of mass destruction. A chase around the country ensues after Andy manages to get her back for a few months. This is until a special Shop agent captures the pair and moves them into a secret facility. Firestarter takes place in several different locations since the characters have to flee often during the course of events in the book. These locations include suspicious airports, dirty motels, old farmhouses, and