Quitters in Stephen King: an Analysis

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About this sample


Words: 554 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 554|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph
  3. Conclusion


Stephen King, the master of horror and suspense, has created a myriad of characters who face insurmountable challenges, often teetering on the brink of their psychological limits. Among these characters are the "quitters," individuals who, despite their initial resolve, succumb to their fears, temptations, or weaknesses. This essay explores the thematic presence of quitters in King's works, analyzing how these characters contribute to the overarching narratives and what they reveal about the human condition.

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Body Paragraph

Stephen King's characters are often placed in extreme situations that test their mental and physical endurance. In "The Shining," Jack Torrance is a prime example of a quitter. Initially determined to rebuild his life and provide for his family, Jack's descent into madness and eventual surrender to the Overlook Hotel's malevolent influence highlights his inability to overcome his personal demons. King's portrayal of Jack underscores a fundamental aspect of the human experience: the struggle between ambition and vulnerability. Jack's failure serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of succumbing to internal and external pressures.

Similarly, in "Pet Sematary," Louis Creed's journey from a rational, loving father to a man driven by grief and desperation illustrates another facet of quitting. Louis's decision to bury his son in the cursed burial ground, despite knowing the horrific consequences, demonstrates the power of emotional turmoil in breaking one's resolve. King's depiction of Louis not only amplifies the horror elements of the story but also delves into the complexities of human grief and the lengths to which one might go when consumed by it.

In contrast, King's short story "Quitters, Inc." provides a more literal interpretation of quitting. The protagonist, Dick Morrison, enrolls in a program designed to help him quit smoking through extreme measures. The story's darkly humorous tone belies a deeper commentary on addiction and the human tendency to seek quick fixes for deeply ingrained habits. Dick's journey through the program, which involves threats to his loved ones, ultimately forces him to confront his dependency. King's narrative here explores the concept of quitting not just in terms of giving up, but also in breaking free from destructive patterns.

Moreover, in "It," the character of Eddie Kaspbrak embodies the archetype of a quitter through his constant battle with fear and reliance on his overbearing mother. Eddie's initial inability to stand up for himself or face his fears head-on represents a form of quitting that is rooted in psychological manipulation and conditioning. However, his eventual courage in confronting Pennywise the Clown signifies a complex character arc where quitting becomes a prelude to personal growth and bravery. King's nuanced portrayal of Eddie highlights the duality of quitting as both a flaw and a potential catalyst for change.

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Stephen King's intricate characterizations of quitters provide profound insights into the human psyche. Through characters like Jack Torrance, Louis Creed, Dick Morrison, and Eddie Kaspbrak, King explores the multifaceted nature of quitting—whether it stems from fear, addiction, grief, or psychological manipulation. These narratives reveal the inherent struggles individuals face when contending with their inner demons and external pressures. King's exploration of quitters serves not only to enhance the suspense and horror in his stories but also to offer a poignant reflection on the complexities of human resilience and vulnerability. In doing so, King invites readers to ponder the fine line between perseverance and surrender, ultimately enriching the tapestry of his literary works.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Quitters in Stephen King: An Analysis. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
“Quitters in Stephen King: An Analysis.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Quitters in Stephen King: An Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Jul. 2024].
Quitters in Stephen King: An Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 24]. Available from:
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