Do we all have Stephen King periods in our lives? Mine was my senior year in college. I plowed through most of the books King wrote in the 1980s and early 1990s that year. Two have stuck with me because they made me think beyond the horror and gore: The Stand and Needful Things. I'm going to add Under the Dome to this short list.
These books of King's boil down to the basic struggle between good and evil. The circumstances he creates within his plots bring out the best and the worst in his characters. And I am definitely drawn to characters. I have tried to explain to my husband, who does not understand yet accepts my book lust, that I am not as interested in the plots of books as I am the characters and how they respond to the circumstances within the plot. And I am again drawn to Stephen King because of his ability to create a community of characters unlike any other writer I know.
Under the Dome overtly alludes to Golding's Lord of the Flies, but there are few adolescent males within this tale. Instead, King weaves his magic creating this community filled with everymen and everywomen. The people under the dome could be just like any of us. Instead of placing a group of boys within a lawless, closed society, he closes a society to outside influence and allows the society to deteriorate within its dome while the rest of the world watches. There is no outside adult who will fly in to save the day at the end of the book; instead, the characters under the dome must use their instincts to survive, and it is a child--of sorts--who saves those under the dome.
Under the dome, currency is not important--instead, power is the evil that rules this little world. I am sure King intends for me to draw parallels between ideologies, politics, health care, environmental issues and climate issues in the book and what is happening in American society today. No surprise there. But what does surprise me is the author's note at the end of the book. This book has been a long time in the making, with the idea occurring to him early in his writing career. Stephen, has America really been this corrupt for so long?
18 hours ago