Study Guide

Carrie Violence

By Stephen King


Chances are the copy of Carrie you're reading is covered in blood. At least, the cover image is. (If your book is covered in actual blood, seek medical attention immediately.) Judging this book by its cover—yes, we do that sometimes—we realize Carrie will be a little more violent than your average "nice guy takes shy, awkward girl to the prom" story. And it is. Like most of Stephen King's books, Carrie is filled with gore, including deaths by electricity, fire, and one telekinetic heart attack. Yes, this book is heart-stoppingly violent. Bahaha. But what's the point of all this violence, you ask? We think Mr. King is trying to point to the darker, more animalistic urges that hide in all of us.

Questions About Violence

  1. Why does Margaret White hurt herself when she's angry?
  2. Why does Carrie kill her classmates? Why doesn't she find a more peaceful solution to her problems? What are some other ways she could approach her problems, do you think?
  3. Is the bullying directed at Carrie violent in nature?
  4. Are women or men more violent in Carrie? How do men's and women's expressions of violence differ in the book?

Chew on This

Violence is a form of power. No wonder Carrie seizes the opportunity to seek revenge when she discovers she's telekinetic.

Carrie is violent because she is a victim of her mother and her bullies' violence. Violence only begets more violence.

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