Study Guide

Chris Hargensen in Carrie

By Stephen King

Chris Hargensen

Bully, Thy Name is Woman

Chris Hargensen is the girl who initiates the bullying of Carrie in the shower. When she gets punished for it, she blames Carrie for being so lame that she just has to be bullied. Nice.

She spends the rest of the book plotting a way to destroy Carrie. Her boyfriend decides to dump pig's blood on her, and Chris is the one who drops it. This act of humiliation sets Carrie off enough that she destroys the whole town.

Chris never feels remorseful for any of her actions, but why should she? Her father, a powerful attorney, enables his daughter's bad behavior. He thinks she should be able to get away with anything and everything she does.

And this entitlement, this self-indulgence, definitely comes straight from Dear Old Dad. Stephen King, not being one for subtlety, tells us this point blank:

It wasn't hard to see where Chris Hargensen came by her self-willed stubbornness. (1.482)

Chris more angry and vengeful than any of the other girls—at least until Carrie has her way with them. And she has a boy's nickname, which is interesting, because she seems to have a stereotypically masculine view of sexuality.

Both her and her boyfriend, Billy, feel the need to be in control of the other. And this power struggle leads to some pretty intense scenes, like when Billy "butt[s] her in the stomach like a goat" (2.826) (a billy goat, perhaps? Haha).

She also spits in his face before they have sex. That's not your typical idea of teenage foreplay.

In the end, it's Chris who kills Tommy Ross, the Resident Nice Guy. Not Carrie. Tommy is dead because the bucket fell on his head.

And when Carrie kills Chris, it goes by so fast you barely know it happens. All we're told is "Chris was thrown into the dashboard" (2.904). Maybe this means that, for all the evil she did, she really wasn't that important after all. She was just a good-for-nothing girl.

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