Study Guide

Carrie Revenge

By Stephen King

Revenge

Imagine Chris Hargensen all bloody and screaming for mercy. With rats crawling all over her face. Good. Good. That would be good. […] Crush in her head with a rock, with a boulder. Crush in all their heads. Good. Good. (1.139)

After the day she's had, can you blame Carrie for thinking such violent thoughts about her classmates? Yes, you can, we think. Because these are really scarily violent thoughts. But we do have some sympathy for the girl. Her classmates are really mean to her, and her mother's insanely fundamental religious beliefs seem to cause her mother to abuse her as well.

If only [Carrie] could make something like that happen whenever she liked. (1.152)

Carrie has just discovered that she might be able to control her telekinesis. And what's the first thing she thinks of? How nice it would be to use her power against other people. After being tormented for so long, Carrie just can't wait to use her newfound strength for revenge.

"[Ralph] left the house insured, too, but [Margaret] never got a penny of that. The damage was caused by an act of God. Poetic justice, huh?" (1.232)

Carrie drops the stones on the house out of self-defense, and out of revenge against her mother. We bet Margaret did believe at the time that the stones were an act of God, though. Then again, she believes pretty much everything is an act of God.

Momma said that Satan had reserved a special blue corner of Hell for Elt. (1.239)

Carrie eventually takes her revenge into her own hands. Carrie's Momma is just as vengeful as Carrie, but she expects Satan (or Jesus, depending on the situation) to do her dirty work for her.

Carrie, it was that goddamned Carrie, this was her fault. (1.285)

Although Sue doesn't take part in getting back at Carrie for being banned from prom, it sure sounds like she will… if only just for a second. Sue seems to blame Carrie for being so lame, and therefore, so easy to tease. Shouldn't she be blaming herself for bullying the girl? Sue isn't the brightest crayon in the box.

"I'll make the stones come again, Momma." (1.362)

This might be the first time where realizes that she can use her powers to strike back against those who have harmed her. Here, she tells her mother that she now has the power to retaliate. As a result, Momma stops railing on her about the sins of sexuality. Go Carrie. (Er, not that we condone threats of violence here. But her Momma is so mean to her.)

Carrie was amazed by her own wit—and audacity. That's what you looked like when the joke was on you. (2.213)

Carrie exercises some different powers early on in the prom: her wit. She puts Norma Watson in her place when she realizes that Norma is trying to make fun of her. Too bad Carrie doesn't just continue with her sarcasm strategy. You know, instead of killing a whole bunch of people.

It was time to teach them a lesson. Time to show them a thing or two. (2.554)

Here we go. Carrie finally realizes that her revenge fantasies can become a reality. So she marches back into the school and shows them all who's boss.

She would get them later. She would get all of them. Every last one. (2.581)

Yep. Carrie has lost it. She's not content with killing those who laughed at her (and at this point, she's totally forgotten about Chris Hargensen), she wants revenge on the whole town. On the whole world, really, for making her the butt of every joke. Does her revenge know no bounds?

[Carrie] had crawled much of the distance from Carlin Street, half fainting, to destroy this very roadhouse—perhaps the very one where the doom of her creation had begun. (2.889)

Carrie is getting a little bit of a twofer by destroying the roadhouse. She's pretty much become her mother at this point—she's become a fiery sword of sin-vanquishing revenge, at least in her own eyes—and Momma would love to destroy a roadhouse. Plus, there's the bonus of having Chris Hargensen inside. If Carrie can take her out too, she'll have exacted revenge on all the people who tortured her. And then some.

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