1978 The Stand Journal 9: Welcome Edgar Allan Poe To The World Of The Stand!

King's love for Edgar Allan Poe can be spotted in a lot of his work (follow the tag at the end of this post for more).  The theme of revenge in Dolan's Cadllic is quite reminiscent of “The Cask of Amontillado."  King honored Poe's short story The Tell Tale Heart with his short story The Old Dudes Ticker.

Note these similarities between the Cask of Amontillado and Dolan's Cadillac:

1. Both are stories of revenge.
2. Both use the idea of being buried alive. Dolan in his car, Fortunato is buried in the wall.
3. Both are told in the first person.
4. Both Dolan and Fortunato die very slowly.
5. Both Fortunato and Dolan have similiar pleas:

Poe writes:  “For the love of God, Montresor!”  "Yes”, I said, “for the love of God!”
King writes:  “For the love of God!” he shrieked. “For the love of God, Robinson!”  “Yes,” I said, smiling. “For the love of God.”

Welcome Edgar Allan Poe To THE STAND:

In the scenes when The Judge is making his way toward Las Vegas, he encounters some a crow.  The lines about the crow are direct references to Poe's The Raven.

Here's some snapshots from The Stand, chapter 51,
Tap tap tap on the window . . .
Tap tap Tap like the raven that had flown in to roost on the bust of Pallas.
Will I get any idea what chinks there might be in the dark man's armor?  Nevermore.
Will I get back safe?
tap, tape, tap. 
  • Like The Raven, the judge is very lonely.  The lonely man in the Raven is filled with sorrow for his lost Lenore.  The judge misses The Freezone.  In fact, he is so lonely, he compares himself to Cain, outcast by God.
  • The lonely man in The Raven distracts his mind with books.  As the Judge rests, he occupies his mind by reading.
  • The lonely man is interrupted by a "tapping."  As cited above, the King section of The Stand is blocked by "tapping" both at the beginning and the end of the section.
  • Both men are interrupted by a bird: A Raven / A Crow.  Crows in King's work represent omens.
  • The raven perched on the bust of Pallas.  That is the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology.  King writes: "Tap tap tap like the raven that had flown in to roost on the bust of Pallas."  (p.629, pb)
  • When the lonely man asks the name of the Raven, it answers "Nevermore."  The same line repeated several times to The Judge.
  • The lonely man understands that the bird does not speak for wisdom, but has been taught "by some unhappy master."  Likewise, The Crow is not a crow, but the Dark Man!
  • My mom noted that the meter of this section matches Poe's as well.
Read The Raven here: http://www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html

1 comment:

  1. I've lost the link, but there is a great video of King doing an appearance at a Poe-themed conference, and in that talk he gives a reading of the entirety of "The Old Dude's Ticker." King readings are always great, and this one is especially so; the story is tailor-made to be read aloud, and he does a terrific job of it.