Study Guide

It Chapter 7: The Dam In The Barrens

By Stephen King

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Chapter 7: The Dam In The Barrens


  • It's time for an Eddie chapter.
  • Eddie is still using his asthma inhaler as a nervous tic: his memories are making him really anxious.
  • As we open, adult Eddie is driving his rented limo through the streets of Boston, effortlessly navigating.
  • That seems to be his Eddie superpower: he can navigate anywhere, directed by an inner compass.
  • He's heading back to Derry this time, which gives him the willies.
  • But he also remembers the good times: in many ways, he was saved by his friends.
  • Especially Bill, whom he idolized.


  • When the boys reconvene the next day at the site of the "baby dam" that Henry Bowers and his goons smashed to bits, it's clear that Bill is a bit off.
  • Probably because he saw George's photo album spurting blood the previous day.
  • But they start to relax a bit.
  • Ben is totally sure how to build a better dam. It's announced that Stan Uris and Richie Tozier will be joining them.
  • Bill starts to cheer up, and Eddie relaxes, the hypochondriac voice of his mother—"Don't get your feet wet! You'll get pneumonia and die!"—growing fainter as the morning wears on.


  • Aww, time for a cute-kids-being-cute-kids moment: Ben, Bill, and Eddie building the dam.
  • It's a beautiful day: slight breeze, no clouds in the sky, low 70s.
  • Everyone is in a great mood, and the dam is a complete and utter success.
  • Eddie has a feeling of excellent health (so: he's not anxious) and power.
  • Basically, it's the opposite of being around his mom.


  • The boys watch the dam, and the way it's changing the scenery of the creek.
  • They also chat a bit...about how Ben hid his bloody and ripped clothes from his mom, and how to shore up the dam.
  • Then Richie Tozier and Stan Uris show up.


  • The kids work all afternoon, and then stop at five o'clock to have a cigarette break.
  • Yeah. It was the 1950s.
  • To be fair, not all of them smoke—the cigs are provided by Richie, who really is a motor-mouth. He talks nonstop, making jokes and zingers and doing voices that all…pretty much sound like Richie.
  • Stan, by comparison, is quiet.
  • It's a fun afternoon, and Eddie thinks that nothing can ruin it…until Bill gets silent and looks scared.
  • He announces that he has something to say, and he doesn't want anyone to laugh at him.
  • Eddie starts inwardly panicking, wishing that someone—anyone—would make a joke.
  • But no one does. Instead, Bill spills the beans about what he saw the previous evening: the picture of George winking, and the pages of the photo album filling with blood.
  • Eddie looks around, realizing that everyone except Richie has a look of utter terror on their faces.
  • Basically: everyone has seen something deeply sinister.
  • This makes Eddie think back to six weeks earlier, when he saw the leper in the basement of the boarded up house on Neibolt Street…


  • But let's back up even earlier.
  • Eddie liked hanging out by the train yards, for various reasons.
  • Once, a man had thrown a crate off of the side of the train and told Eddie to take it back to his mom.
  • Inside had been lobsters. They freaked Eddie out, and his mother had gorged herself on lobster salad.
  • But still: the train tracks had been a happy place.
  • Then he went over to the house on Neibolt street, where he had seen a hobo. The hobo was pretty disgusting: vomit-stained clothes, half-rotted nose. The hobo also offered to fellate Eddie for a dime, and then chased him.
  • Eddie described the hobo as a "leper" until Richie told him that no, the hobo had late-stage syphilis.


  • This creepy incident rattled around in Eddie's head for weeks: he was, understandably, not really keen on going back to the house on Neibolt Street.
  • But then, one day, weirdly compelled, he went back.
  • Like Bill going into George's room, he felt led along by some invisible force.
  • He got to the house and looked under the porch, which is where the hobos hung out. There weren't any there…so he climbed under the porch.
  • It was a weird choice, he knew even then.
  • The area under the porch was rank and smelly but, even so, Eddie covered himself with an old hobo's blanket.
  • Then he began to think like a hobo, imagining his hobo life.
  • Then he saw the face at the window.
  • If the actual hobo was bad, this was horrific: a face split open by disease, made almost rancid, with bugs crawling over rotten hands.
  • Yeah. It's nasty. It offers sexual favors, and then tells Eddie to come down into the basement.
  • Eddie's fear-paralysis momentarily thaws, enough for him to start running.
  • Then the hobo is behind him, and Eddie can see It's wearing a clown costume.
  • In a disgusting twist, It opens Its mouth and unfurls a surprisingly long, rotten, and bug-covered tongue.
  • Eddie is able to get on his bike and out-ride the monster sprinting after him, but just barely.


  • The kids sit by the dam respectfully after Bill is done talking. They realize that this is serious business: Bill doesn't joke around.
  • Eddie backs him up, telling everyone about the house on Neibolt Street and then bursting into tears.
  • Then Ben starts talking about the time he saw the clown walking down the ice of the canal, with the balloons that flew against the wind and the face of a mummy.
  • Richie hasn't seen anything, and starts joshing around.
  • They turn to Stan to see if he's said anything…and he has a horrified, unearthly expression on his face.
  • "It wasn't a clown," he says. "It was…"
  • But just then a man named Mr. Nell walks in. And he is not happy about the mess caused by the (awesomely constructed) dam.

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