Thesis paper on "Misery" by Stephen King

Essay by tart2375University, Bachelor'sA-, July 2003

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In the novel, Misery, Stephen King embodies the state of possession by an evil being who happens to be the elaborated and horrifically psychotic woman, Annie Wilkes. In this story, Annie represents a mother figure, a goddess and a loyal reader of the romance novelist, Paul Sheldon. In reality, however, Annie merely represents someone who has troubles deciphering between reality and fiction. This odd obsession with not only Paul, but with the fictional character Misery, shows the mental unstableness of her.

They happen to meet only by chance. Paul gets in an accident and she happens to take him back to her cabin and nurse him back to health. Annie acts like a proud mother of two; one child being Paul Sheldon, and the other his extremely popular heroine, Misery Chastain. She views Paul in a madly maternal way. Early in her custody of Paul, she brings him pills for his excruciating pain, but he must suck them off her fingers in a grotesque parody of a nursing child.

If she leaves him untended too long, Paul wets his bed, and she must change his sheets and clothes. When he is tired or frustrated, he weeps like a small child because he feels totally helpless. She has made him immobile. Therefore becomes totally dependent on her for everything. Annie ensures his childlike dependence on her and expressions of her maternal love continue with making him addicted to pain killing-drugs. Her disciplinary actions contribute to her motherly persona, also. When he has been bad, she disciplines him but in motherly fashion, often comforting him while doing so. Annie punishes Sheldon after he attempts to get free by amputating his foot and thumb with an ax, exercising editorial authority over his body.

Annie also acts as a virginal and protective...