Study Guide

Billy Nolan in Carrie

By Stephen King

Billy Nolan

Saturday Night Fever

Billy Nolan is Chris Hargensen's boyfriend. The two are so antagonistic with one another, they drive each other to do wild things, like dumping pig's blood on Carrie at the prom.

Of course, he tries to escape when Carrie goes mad, but then he sees Carrie in the road. He tries to run her over, which is a big mistake. Carrie takes control of the car and kills both Billy and Chris.

All in all, Billy Nolan is the kind of boy that Carrie's mom warned you about. He looks like a "strange time traveler from the 1950s with his greased hair, zipper-bejeweled black leather jacket, and manifold-bubbling Chevrolet road machine" (1.496). In other words, he looks like John Travolta.

But it's difficult to tell whether Billy controls Chris, or Chris controls Billy. We're told that Billy "would have done murder for [Chris], and more" (1.848). And he kind of does. He murders a couple of pigs anyway, when he gets the pig's blood for the prom scheme.

Billy is almost more excited about dumping blood on Carrie than Chris is, which is strange, given that Billy doesn't even know Carrie. He says a few times, "Pig blood for a pig" (1.870), almost like a chant.

Carrie's baptism in blood is a weird ritual for Billy that we're not sure even he understands. But we think his character just goes to show that people do crazy things when they egg each other on. Like bring out each other's inner Devils.

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