Stephen King, Christine - Text Analysis

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Stephen King is perhaps the most widely known American writer of his generation, yet his distinctions include publishing as two authors at once: Beginning in 1966, he wrote novels that were published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. When twelve, he began submitting stories for sale. At first ignored and then scorned by mainstream critics, by the late 1980’s his novels were reviewed regularly in The New York Times Book Review, with increasing favor. Beginning in 1987, most of his novels were main selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, which in 1989 created the Stephen King Library, committed to keeping King’s novels “in print in hardcover.” King published more than one hundred short stories (including the collections Night Shift,…show more content…
Christine is another fractured “Cinderella” story, Carrie for boys. Arnie Cunningham, a nearsighted, acne-scarred loser, falls “in love with” a car, a passionate (red and white)
Plymouth Fury, “one of the long ones with the big fins,” that he names Christine. An automotive godmother, she brings Arnie, in fairy-tale succession, freedom, success, power, and love: a home away from overprotective parents, a cure for acne, hit-andrun revenge on bullies, and a beautiful girl, Leigh Cabot. Soon, however, the familiar triangle emerges, of boy, girl, and car, and Christine is revealed as a femme fatale—driven by the spirit of her former owner, a malcontent named Roland LeBay. Christine is the medium for his death wish on the world, for his all-devouring, “everlasting Fury.” LeBay’s aggression possesses Arnie, who reverts into an older, tougher self, then into the “mythic teenaged hood” that King has called the prototype of 1950’s werewolf films, and finally into “some ancient carrion eater,” or primal self. As automotive monster, Christine comes from a variety of sources, including the folk tradition of the “death car” and a venerable techno-horror premise, as seen in King’s “Trucks” and Maximum Overdrive. King’s main focus, however, is the mobile youth culture that has come down from the 1950’s by way of advertising, popular songs, film, and national pastimes. Christine is the car as a projection of
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