Study Guide

Carrie Breasts and Bras

By Stephen King

Breasts and Bras

Over-the-Shoulder Boulder Holders

Hey, Stephen King, our eyes are up here. Ugh. In this book, we're introduced to almost every female character by getting their name and breast size. "Miss Desjardin, their slim, nonbreasted gym teacher" (1.14). So far as we understand Mr. King, people's boobs are basically a stand-in for how evil they are.

The bigger and saggier the breasts, the more evil a character is supposed to be. No, we're not kidding. Unfortunately. Chris, Carrie's bully, has "firm, upthrust breasts" (1.506). She's only a little bit to blame for everything that happens in the book, we guess.

But "upthrust"? Really? Do they block her vision? Anyway.

Later, Chris walks by Sue "braless" and Sue judges her for having her breasts jiggling about. This is the seventies, right? Aren't more women braless at this point to show that it isn't a bad thing, and that really, bras shouldn't be mandatory? Chris must be having a "naughty" day.

Oh wait, sorry. We digress, attempting to analyze boobs as a symbol and all. Stephen King isn't done describing character's breasts. Carrie's are "milk-white, upright and smooth. The nipples were a light coffee color" (1.257). Hm. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?

Carrie is a force of (justified? crazy?) self-righteousness in the novel, so we see the whole boob—moral uprightness correlation emerging here.

Recall that breasts are a trigger point in Carrie early on. Carrie sees Estelle Horan sunbathing topless, with her buxom breasts free in the open, and all hell breaks loose. Plus, when Carrie puts on her prom dress, we're told "she had bought a special brassiere to go with it, which gave her breasts the proper uplift (not that they actually needed it)" (2.1).

So, we'll ask again: why does all this matter?

While Stephen King's interests in breasts seems pervy, his focus isn't unusual in the context of the book. Margaret White is obsessed with breasts too. "She called them dirtypillows" (1.193), and thinks they're a sign of womanly maturity which, in her mind, is synonymous with evil.

Because of Margaret's fixation, Carrie is obsessed too. We think, then, that Mr. King is just mirroring the characters' obsession with breasts. And if Carrie and Margaret are to be believed, those things are pure evil.

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