Study Guide

It Friendship

By Stephen King

Friendship

“I was thinking about a dam I built with some friends of mine,” Ben Hanscom says. “The first friends I ever had, I guess. They were building the dam when I—” He stops, looks startled, then laughs. It is an honest laugh, almost the carefree laugh of a boy, and it sounds very odd in this jouncing, bucking plane. (4.1.27)

Ben has just remembered his previous life in Derry, the presence of It, and his mission to eradicate evil. Plus, he's on a plane experiencing severe turbulence. But he still laughs when he thinks of the good times he had with his lil' buddies.

“You’ll float down here with your friends, Beverly, we all float down here, tell Bill that Georgie says hello, tell Bill that Georgie misses him but he’ll see him soon, tell him Georgie will be in the closet some night with a piece of piano wire to stick in his eye, tell him—” (9.1.20)

Beverly is threatened by It's malevolent voice through the pipes. But what especially hurts is that her friends are threatened as well.

I feel that there will come a right time to call them…and when that time comes, I’ll know that it’s right. Their own circuits will open at the same time. It’s as if there are two great wheels slowly coming into some sort of powerful convergence with each other, myself and the rest of Derry on one, and all my childhood friends on the other. (Derry: The Second Interlude.22)

Shoutout to Mike, who has been cooped up in Derry all these years, waiting to call his buddies and let them know that It has arisen. On the plus side, he's able to remember the strong and pretty magical bond all the Losers shared.

“Very good, Mr. Hanlon.” She smiled at both of them. “You are well met in friendship, I think.”

“I think we are,” Mike said. “This way, Bill.” (10.1.95)

Even the hostess at the restaurant everyone meets up at can see that Mike and Bill are old buddies.

Not this time, dammit, he thought suddenly. Not if my friends need me. Like Bev said, s*** all over that.

He also began to gather rocks. (13.9.46)

Eddie has some second thoughts before starting a rock fight with a bunch of bullies. (Which...is reasonable.) But it's an "all for one and one for all" kind of situation with the Losers. He's going to chuck a few rocks and take a few hits if it means supporting his friends.

Suddenly she went cold as a terrible question occurred to her: Was this happening to the others? Or something like it? She ought to warn them. They had hurt It, and perhaps now It was taking steps to assure Itself they would never hurt It again. And, really, where else was there to go? They were the only friends she had. (5.2.50)

When Bev is terrorized by It, yet again, she has a really selfless thought: are her buddies okay? Or is It harassing all of the Losers at once?

“Probably would. I’ve never been real fast to make friends myself.” He smiled. “Back then, we were all we nuh-nuh-needed.” (19.5.3)

Middle-aged Bill admits that he didn't have the best time making and keeping friends in his adulthood. And, sweetly, he admits that his childhood buddies were all he needed back when he was a kiddo.

“You guys are still the best friends I ever had,” Ben said. “No matter how this turns out. I just . . .you know, wanted to tell you that.” (20.4.17)

Aww, shucks. The Losers are facing down death and Ben wants to make sure everyone knows how much he luuuurves them.

I believe we were both thinking the same thing: it was over, yes, and in six weeks or six months, we will have forgotten all about each other. It’s over, and all it’s cost us is our friendship and Stan and Eddie’s lives. (Derry: The Last Interlude.94)

The last time Mike and Richie talk, it's deeply bittersweet. They've vanquished It once and for all…but they're never going to see each other again.

The point, felt but not grasped, was simply that the fellowship was ending…it was ending and they were still in the dark. That Other had, through their friendship, perhaps been able to make them something more than children. But they were becoming children again. Bill felt it as much as the others. (21.7.28)

Something weird happens with the Losers. They meet as kiddos and are elevated, somehow, to adulthood…and then dropped back into childhood. It's almost too much, this losing and regaining innocence.

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