English 4, 02
October 2, 2009
Character Development in “The Body”
Stephen King creates the characters in The Body to be unique, but the one character that obviously sticks out the most, besides Gordie, is Chris. In the beginning of “The Body”, Chris acts as one of the most mature persons in the group out of Gordie, Vern, and Teddy. Some could argue that he seems too mature for his age. He seems to throw the Stages Theory in a tumble. In other words, look at the Stages Theory and put Chris’s life style as the baby grows up. The problem with Chris is he’s living the way he does, with an abusive dad and no mom. He grows up to be the opposite of what Erickson or anyone else would expect. Erickson would expect Chris to be a criminal like his brother because of his family situation as a kid, his abusive dad and brother and no mom, but he succeeds in becoming a mature adult because of his relationship with Gordie and the realizations he had on the body trip.
Based on Erickson’s theory, Chris should become a ruffian because of his family situation, his father and brother beat him. Seeing how his father treated Chris, what his brother grew up to be like, and not having a mom, Erickson should be correct although he isn’t. Chris looks at his family and feels shame towards them. In his right mind he feels that he will turn into them inevitably, but does not want to nor does he try or exhibit their behavior. Unfortunately he is too embarrassed to admit it to anyone. “Chris was marked up every two weeks or so, bruises on his cheeks and neck or one eye swelled up and as colorful as a sunset, and once he came into school with a big clumsy bandage on the back of his head” (King 306). Coming to school looking like you just worked in a war movie would definitely make someone cold and hateful. Maybe it was Chris’ friendship with Gordie that made him a better person.
Chris and Gordie have been friends for years; they do everything together and care...