It

It

by

Stephen King

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Summary
Analysis
The day after Mike makes first his calls to the adult members of the Losers’ Club, Henry Bowers hears voices. He is hoeing in a garden in the late afternoon. Voices are coming to him from the moon—first, Victor Criss; then, “Belch” Huggins. After a while, one of the guards, Fogarty, comes over and hits Henry on the back of the neck, knocking him flat to his face. Henry’s offense is hoeing the peas along with the weeds. Fogarty, along with Adler and Koontz, hits the inmates at Juniper Hills—a facility for the criminally-insane—in the back of the neck with a roll of quarters, for this is not exactly a deadly weapon.
Unlike the voices that the others hear from drains and sewers, Henry perceives the voice from the moon as friendly—indeed, they are the voices of his old friends. Henry’s life in Juniper Hills is characterized by abuse and loneliness. The voices of Henry’s old friends remind him of a time in his life in which he was dominant. However, he also hears the mocking voices of the Losers’ Club, showing his obsession with the past.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Henry Bowers is in Juniper Hills because he was sent there in 1958, after being convicted of killing his father, Butch Bowers. However, it was not only his father whom the authorities blamed Henry for killing. They also found him guilty of killing “Belch” Huggins, Victor Criss, Patrick Hocksetter, and Veronica Grogan. The Derry News declares Henry Bowers the monster that has been haunting Derry.
In the town’s eagerness to cast for villains, they choose Henry, whom they determine was always a bad seed. He is easy to blame for the murders, not only due to his reputation but also the murder of his father, which makes seem him capable of any evil.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Henry thinks that he is responsible for killing “Belch” Huggins and Victor Criss insofar as he is the one who led them to the tunnels where they died. He is accused of killing Patrick Hocksetter after the police find some of the boy’s books in Henry’s bureau. However, he and Patrick were friends who regularly exchanged schoolbooks, which neither of them really cared about. As for Veronica Grogan’s underwear, he has no idea how those ended up under his mattress.
Henry’s feeling of responsibility in regard to Belch and Victor’s deaths is similar to that which Bill feels about George’s death. Henry blames himself for giving his friends cause for being in the tunnels, though he did not kill them directly.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Henry’s cell mates in the blue ward are a serial rapist and a man who has murdered his wife and four children in the winter of 1962. There is also Jimmy Donlin, who killed his mother, and Benny Beaulieu—a pyromaniac. While hoeing, Henry can hear voices taunting him. Henry tells them to shut up. The voices belong to members of the Losers’ Club. Fogarty is standing nearby and has been yelling at Henry for nearly two minutes. Finally, he gives Henry a whack with the roll of quarters. Henry falls, but now hears a voice chanting, “Kill them all.”
The other inmates are mostly men who have killed family members. Henry remains obsessed with the Losers’ Club. He hears their voices and those from the moon, which prompt him to kill the Losers’ Club so that he can be free of their imagined derision.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Henry Bowers lies awake. He is staring intently at his nightlight. His fellow Blue Ward inmates are sleeping around him. Koontz is on duty, eating peanut butter and onion sandwiches. Another voice comes—this one from under the bed. It is the voice of Victor Criss. Criss’s head was torn off years ago by the Frankenstein-monster. Henry exclaims at the sound of Victor’s voice, which assures Henry that he does not need to talk aloud, only to think. Henry asks what Victor wants. He says that he wants the same thing as Henry: to get back at the Losers’ Club.
To emphasize that Henry has not grown up and remains stunted in his eleven-year-old self, he must sleep with a nightlight. He also hears voices from under his bed, like a small child who is afraid of monsters lurking in unseen spaces in the dark. It appears as Henry’s old friends so that Henry can do Its work for It.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Victor Criss, or the image of him that It has assumed, tells Henry that he can kill them if they only half-believe, but Henry is real and can actually kill them, no matter what they believe. Henry would like to “pay em back,” but cannot leave, especially not with Koontz on guard. Victor tells him not to worry. Henry and Vic walk toward the Blue Ward exit. Jimmy Donlin sees It take shape as his dead mother. The top of her head is gone where he has cut her to eat her brains. Donlin starts screaming, drawing the attention of Koontz, who rushes in and sees Bowers standing next to a thing in a slivery clown suit. Koontz is so shocked that he drops the roll of quarters. He takes in a breath to scream, and then the clown grabs him. Its hands, however, feel like paws. It has taken the form of the Doberman Pinscher that Koontz fears most.
It relies on the group’s imagined fears that It can cause them harm. However, Henry is real and can cause them harm regardless of what they imagine is possible. It distracts Jimmy with the image that haunts him most: the sight of the mother whom he murdered. The image of Victor transforms into the image of the clown, which Koontz sees as “a thing,” due to the clown’s likeness to a corpse and, in this instance, its transformation into a Doberman. It demonstrates the fluidity of adjusting quickly to the fear of whomever is looking at It.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Meanwhile, for the third time on this day, Beverly’s friend Kay McCall goes to the telephone. She then fixes a Scotch-and-soda. When she catches a glimpse of her reflection, she wonders who the battered woman is looking back at her. When she goes to the hospital, the doctor asks if her boyfriend did it. Kay says that she would rather not talk about it. He urges her to call the police, but she declines. Shortly thereafter, Kay cries; she cannot help it.
Through her friendship with Beverly, Kay has become a victim of abuse, which is incompatible with her self-image as a strong feminist. She offers no explanation to the doctor because the incident makes little sense to her. She also cannot call the police, out of fear of what can happen to Beverly or to herself.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Tom Rogan calls Kay McCall around noon, inquiring after Beverly Marsh Rogan. Kay tells him that she has not seen Beverly in a couple of weeks. Then, her doorbell rings. The person at the door claims to be delivering flowers. As soon as she opens the door, Tom’s fist comes flying. Kay notices that Tom looks mean and very angry. Kay turns and runs for the end of the hall. Tom catches her by the dress and yanks so hard that he tears it. Kay slaps Tom, reopening the cut on the left side of his face. He grabs her hair and pulls her face toward his fist. She feels blood gush out of her nose. He jerks Kay around and demands to know where Beverly is. When Kay screams that she doesn’t know, Tom pushes her to the floor. When she looks around again, Tom is holding the jagged end of a Waterford crystal vase. He threatens to bring it down onto Kay’s face unless she tells him where Beverly is. Kay relents and says that Beverly is in Derry.
Tom’s duplicity parallels with the trick that Henry Bowers will later use when he goes to Eddie Kaspbrak’s room at the Derry Town House. Both try to establish themselves as service people to gain trust. Tom grabs Kay by her dress, which was designed by Beverly. Tom is the president and general manager of Beverly Designs, meaning that he capitalizes off of Beverly’s talent while also exploiting Beverly personally. He uses women in general for his own gain while also abusing them. His sincere threat to end Kay’s life comes from an inability to see her as a fellow human being.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Tom Rogan then tells Kay that if she calls the police or tells them that he was there, he will deny it. If he is arrested, he will return to Kay’s house and do much worse to her, he says. He then demands to know why Beverly went back, but Kay says that she does not know; Beverly did not tell her. Tom tosses aside the vase and leaves without looking back. Kay shuffles after him and locks the door.
Kay fears Tom, not only because of his greater physical strength but because he has the economic means to bail himself out of jail, if arrested; and, as a white male of a high economic status, he is likely to be believed if he lies to them about beating up Kay.
Themes
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Kay decides that she must warn Beverly that Tom is going to look for her. She finds Beverly Rogan registered at the Derry Town House. Beverly is out but Kay leaves her name and number with the desk clerk for Beverly to reach her as soon as she gets in. She hopes that Beverly will call soon and watch out for the “crazy son of a bitch” she married.
Kay is more worried about Beverly than she is about herself. Tom’s anger suggests that he will kill Beverly when he sees her again. At the same time, Kay still cannot fathom why Beverly married Tom in the first place.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Before leaving from O’Hare, Tom Rogan reads the brief author’s note at the end of The Black Rapids. He learns that William Denbrough is a native of New England and lives in California with his wife, Audra Phillips. Tom thinks for a moment about how Audra looks like his wife, Beverly. When he gets to Bangor International Airport, he gets a newspaper and goes to the Classifieds section. He calls a guy selling a ’76 LTD wagon for $1,400. Tom offers to pay cash for it if the seller can bring it to the airport. He gives his name as “Mr. Barr” and says that the seller will know him because his face is banged up due to his falling during a roller-skating accident.
Like Beverly, Tom makes a feeble, unconvincing excuse for having a beaten-up face. Tom is fixated on Bill Denbrough as a possible rival for Beverly’s affections and, thus, a threat to Tom’s control over her. Tom is right to think that Beverly’s promise to return to Derry has something to do with Bill, but his narrowminded sexual obsession with Beverly cannot fathom the possibility that her promise is about something much greater than any man.
Themes
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
The guy with the used LTD shows up ten minutes later. He scribbles a bill of sale for Tom and takes off the license plates. Tom offers him an extra three bucks for the screwdriver. The boy shrugs and hands over the screwdriver in exchange for the money. The car is a “piece of shit” with a rattling transmission but it gets him along Route 2. He stops to buy a carton of cigarettes for Beverly, thinking of how he will make her eat each one.
In Tom’s mind, Beverly has committed two offenses: she has left Chicago without his permission and she smoked a cigarette in front of him, knowing that he disapproves of it. He is clearly not interested in her health, but instead in her obedience.
Themes
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Audra Phillips Denbrough flies to Maine from Heathrow. The day before, she had issues with Freddie Firestone, the producer of Attic Room, in regard to the hiring of her stuntwoman. Worse, Bill has been called back to do rewrites of the film. Audra tells Freddie that Bill has returned to the States for reasons that he did not specify. Freddie suspects that Audra intends to go after Bill, which he discourages. She resists the force of Freddie’s personality and kisses him on the cheek to say “goodbye.”
Audra’s loyalty to Bill and her concern over what is going on in Derry leads her to disobey Bill’s wish that she never set foot in Derry. Freddie discourages Audra from going to Derry, not so much because he is worried about her but because he is worried about the progress of his film.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Audra’s plane lands in Bangor at 7:09 PM EDT. She grabs her single bag and approaches the rental-car booths, just as Tom Rogan will an hour later. She rents a Datsun and the young woman who attends to Audra asks for her autograph. Audra gives it, figuring that, with how she just ran out on Freddie Firestone and her movie, it might not be worth anything in five years. The young woman also traces out the best route to Derry and Audra sets out, feeling more frightened than she ever has in her life. In an odd coincidence, Tom takes a room at the Koala Inn while Audra has a room at the Holiday Inn. The two hotels are side-by-side and Tom and Audra’s cars are parked nose-to-nose. Both sleep now. Meanwhile, Henry Bowers has spent the day hiding along Route 9. After dark, he hitchhikes, and some poor fool picks him up.
Audra knows that leaving her film location is a bad move for her career, which was never especially stellar in the first place. King prepares the reader for the fact that Tom and Audra, who do not know each other personally, are destined for their worlds to collide due to their connections with Beverly and Bill, respectively. However, their intentions are opposite. Audra has come because she loves Bill and wants to support him, while Tom has arrived to get Beverly back under his thumb.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon