Study Guide

Minor Characters in Carrie

By Stephen King

Minor Characters

Assistant Principal Morton and Principal Henry Grayle

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Assistant Principal Morton thinks of himself as a John Wayne. Maybe he should call everyone "pardner," because he sure can't get Carrie's name right. He calls her "Cassie," twice, which only adds to her anxiety about being a nobody.

So it's up to the Principal to stand up for Carrie. And he does, in his own way. Principal Grayle tells Chris Hargensen's dad off when he threatens to sue the school. Morton lets him know that what Chris did to Carrie was assault, and that he will defend Carrie in this situation.

Unfortunately, Carrie doesn't learn of how the Principal stood up for her. Most of the time, when people are defending her, it's happening behind closed doors. Morton, like Miss Desjardin, also resigns, wishing he "had only had more foresight" (3.15) to stop the massacre.

We're not sure if Mr. Grayle kept his post, or if he died in the fire.

By the way, we have to point out that Morton did have some foresight. During a conversation with Principal Grayle, he says, "I've got that kind of feeling. […] A hunch. Someone's going to come with rotten apples or something" (1.755).

Rotten apples end up being lots and lots of dead people. Unfortunately, Mr. Morton learns that having an inkling something bad is going to happen doesn't mean a thing if you don't speak up.

The Students of Ewen High

Like A Bunch of Blind Sheep

Most of the students of Ewen High operate by mob mentality—like a bunch of blind sheep in a herd. (Ewen = sheep-n, we think.) Especially the girls, who seem to blindly follow anything and everything Chris Hargensen does.
We do want to give a special shout-out to Frieda Jason, the one girl who seems to genuinely take an interest in Carrie as a person. She asks Carrie about her dress and is impressed to find out that Carrie made it.

We also want to give an anti-shout-out to Norma Watson. After Carrie kills everyone and dies, Norma writes a book called We Survived the Black Prom. In it, she talks about just how scary it was to almost be killed at the hands of Carrie. We're sure it was, but she never expresses an ounce of remorse for what she did.

She calls Carrie a "tarbaby" and writes, "it was either laugh or cry, and who could bring himself to cry over Carrie after all those years?" (2.419). Maybe if more people had expressed sympathy for Carrie, they'd still be alive.

The People of Chamberlain, Maine

All the Lonely People, Where Do They All Belong?

We're not sure if the people of Chamberlain, Maine take any responsibility for what Carrie does. Estelle Horan feels guilty for sunbathing topless in the yard, an incident that eventually led to Carrie raining stones down upon her mother's house.

Estelle shouldn't feel guilty, though; it's her mother who actively antagonized the Whites. She was always looking to bait Margaret into a rage. And encouraging Estelle's behavior was just the right bait, as it turns out.

Then there's Mr. Quillan, the town drunk. He psychically knows who Carrie is… no, we don't quite get it either. But they share some mental vibes or something. In any case, he makes it clear that Carrie didn't technically burn the town down.

As he tells it, Carrie tore the pumps off the gas station. But it was another man who flicked his cigarette into the fuel.

Finally, we've got Sheriff Doyle, who can't believe that his town is burning to the ground. It's the town "where he drank iced tea on his mother's sun porch and refereed PAL basketball" (2.675). Sniff, sniff.

But this Sheriff is forgetting something important. Like the fact that in this same town, every single person treats our girl Carrie like a total dog. Maybe Chamberlain isn't the idyllic paradise he thinks it is.