Study Guide

Carrie Women and Femininity

By Stephen King

Women and Femininity

We're all unique and beautiful snowflakes, right? And we all have the power of free will, right? Not exactly. When a lot of people get together, they often act really stupid. Good people in large numbers may commit a crime or act violently simply because other people are doing those things. Why? Psychologists blame a phenomenon called mob mentality. So it's no surprise that Stephen King seems to equate people (and mostly women) with farm animals in Carrie; sometimes, we all just go along with the herd. And when you're a teenage girl, being a part of the herd means bullying who everyone else is bullying. Sorry, Carrie.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. Why are only women telekinetic in the world of Carrie? What would happen if a man were to become telekinetic?
  2. Are there any characters in Carrie who defy female stereotypes, or do they all conform to them?
  3. Do the girls in Carrie act differently than girls do today? (Remember that the novel is set in the 1970s.)

Chew on This

Stephen King suggests that all women are either victims or princesses. They always need a man to harm them or to save them.

The only woman who defies female stereotypes in Carrie is Chris Hargensen—the only character with the boy's name—and she does that by being violent.