Study Guide

Carrie Sin

By Stephen King

Sin

The concept [of pregnancy], linked irrevocably in [Mrs. White's] mind with the "sin" of intercourse, had been blocked entirely from her mind. (1.74)

Carrie's Momma really hates sin. Her primary solution seems to be to just will herself into a good existence, as if pretending she's not pregnant would mean she never had sex. This kind of denial takes a lot of willpower… but it's not helping anyone. Most of all Carrie.

[Mrs. White] told Mrs. Bicente, God rest her, that the Lord was reserving a special burning seat in hell for her because she gave the kids an outline of Mr. Darwin's beliefs on evolution. (1.118)

This is a story about Carrie's Momma from when she was a girl. Even then, she believed that evolution was a sin. So maybe, just as Carrie sometimes repeats her Momma's beliefs, Margaret's sin-fanaticism is a result of her upbringing.

Momma had, of course, forbade [Carrie] to shower with the other girls. (1.147)

We don't remember an eleventh commandment of "thou shalt not shower," but Carrie's mom really hates showers. Why? The public nakedness? She even seems to hate showers at home, though. Maybe it's just nakedness in general, because being naked can lead to sex, and Margaret most certainly hates sex. Momma just might be a never-nude.

Ralph [White] was a construction worker, and people on the street said he carried a Bible and a .38 revolver to work with him every day. The Bible was for his coffee break and lunch. The .38 was in case he met Antichrist on the job. (1.174)

Eep. This man is so afraid of meeting a personification of sin that he carries a gun around. We have to wonder: would a gun be any use in stopping the Antichrist?

Once, in the sixth grade, Carrie had set out to ask Momma if Green Stamps weren't sinful, but her nerve had failed her. (1.235)

Green Stamps were little rewards for shopping, like Best Buy reward points. That whole deal sounds a bit materialistic to us, which is probably why Carrie wants to bring it up. And hating one sin (lust) while embracing another (greed) is a bit hypocritical, isn't it, Mrs. White?

"I didn't sin, Momma. You sinned. You didn't tell me and they laughed." (1.357)

This is a turning point for Carrie, as she realizes that she is not sinning by simply existing and growing up. And her Momma is sinning by trying to keep things from her—which can be akin to lying. At the very least, Momma's "parenting" approach certainly didn't prepare Carrie for high school.

Oh, [Margaret] knew the Devil's Power. Her own grandmother had it. (2.225)

Margaret seems to believe both that she came from sin, and that she gave birth to sin (Carrie). She's like the meat of a sin sandwich.

Carrie had to admit that she didn't know how to dance. She didn't add that […] she would feel out of place gyrating on the floor, (and sinful) yes, and sinful. (2.241-2.243)

Man, what isn't a sin to Carrie? No wonder she's so afraid of everything. Pretty much any action could condemn her straight to the fiery pits of hell… if her Momma is to be believed.

"Show [Carrie] that if she had remained sinless the Curse of Blood never would have come on her." (1.350)

Whoa, Momma. There is so much blame within blame here, it's like the Inception of blame. Momma seems to be blaming Carrie for getting her period. And she's blaming the period—a perfectly natural biological process—on the fact that Carrie sins. She's also kind of blaming god for the fact that periods even exist. So much crazy here.

"At first it was all right. We lived sinlessly. We slept in the same bed, belly to belly sometimes, and o, I could feel the presence of the Serpent, but we. never. did. until. […] He… touched me. In that place. That woman place." (2.766)

Okay, there's a lot going on here. First, by Serpent, Momma means "man place" (you know, to go in her woman place). And by referring to her husband's penis as a serpent, she's making herself into a figurative Eve. So by having sex with him, she believes she committed the Original Sin. And guess what lucky girl gets to be the product of that sin? Poor little Carrie.

CARRIE WHITE IS BURNING FOR HER SINS. JESUS NEVER FAILS. (3.17)

This is some graffiti painted on the lot where Carrie's house once stood. Seems like people are angry about her whole rampage, huh? The ironic thing is that Carrie probably believes the people of Chamberlain burned for their sins—when she took 'em all out with her telekinetic wrath. That's the problem with binning people into "evil" and "good" categories, isn't it? There's at least one person out there that thinks each of us is "evil," and at least one person that thinks each of us is "good."