It

It

by

Stephen King

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Alvin “Al” Marsh Character Analysis

Beverly Marsh’s father and Elfrida Marsh’s husband. Like Richard Macklin and Butch Bowers, he is physically abusive. He slaps and punches Beverly but also sexually abuses her by masturbating over her while putting her to bed. He works as a janitor. Al sees himself as a man with “no vices” because he does not drink or commit infidelity. In addition to being abusive, he is misogynistic. Beverly has inherited her red hair, left-handedness, and ability to draw from her father, with whom she practiced drawing animal characters when she was a little girl. She marries Tom Rogan because he has qualities and behaviors very similar to those of her father. After Beverly grows up, Al sends her a postcard to ask her for money. When Beverly returns to Derry in 1985, she learns that her father has been dead for five years.

Alvin “Al” Marsh Quotes in It

The It quotes below are all either spoken by Alvin “Al” Marsh or refer to Alvin “Al” Marsh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of It published in 2017.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Her father tucked her in as he always did, and kissed her forehead. Then he only stood there for a moment in what she would always think of as “his” way of standing, perhaps of being: bent slightly forward, hands plunged deep—to above the wrist—in his pockets, the bright blue eyes in his mournful basset-hound's face looking down at her from above. In later years, long after she stopped thinking about Derry at all, she would see a man sitting on the bus or maybe standing on a corner with his dinnerbucket in his hand, shapes, oh shapes of men, sometimes seen as day closed down, sometimes seen across Watertower Square in the noonlight of a clear windy autumn day, shapes of men, rules of men, desires of men: or Tom, so like her father when he took off his shirt and stood slightly slumped in front of the bathroom mirror to shave. Shapes of men.

Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Oh!” He smiled a little at her now, as if pleased by this explanation. “Was that it? Damn! If you'd told me, Beverly, I never would have hit you. All girls are scared of spiders. Sam Hill! Why didn’t you speak up?” He bent over the drain and she had to bite her lip to keep from crying out a warning . . . and some other voice spoke deep inside her, some terrible voice which could not have been a part of her; surely it was the voice of the devil himself: Let it get him, if it wants him. Let it pull him down. Good-fucking-riddance. She turned away from that voice in horror. To allow such a thought to stay for even a moment in her head would surely damn her to hell…

Page Number: 403
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

She looked back and here he came again, Al Marsh, janitor and custodian, a gray man dressed in khaki pants and a khaki shirt with two flap pockets, a keyring attached to his belt by a chain, his hair flying. But he wasn’t in his eyes—the essential he who had washed her back and punched her in the gut and had done both because he worried about her, worried a lot, the he who had once tried to braid her hair when she was seven, made a botch of it, and then got giggling with her about the way it stuck out everyway, the he who knew how to make cinnamon eggnogs on Sunday that tasted better than anything you could buy for a quarter at the Derry Ice Cream Bar, the father-he, maleman of her life, delivering a mixed post from that other sexual state. None of that was in his eyes now. She saw blank murder there. She saw It there.

Page Number: 923
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alvin “Al” Marsh Character Timeline in It

The timeline below shows where the character Alvin “Al” Marsh appears in It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: Cleaning Up
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...from the drain, splattering the walls. Beverly runs into the living room, where her father, Al Marsh, is sitting. (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
When Beverly shrieks about something in the bathroom, and Al Marsh asks if someone has been peeking at her. Al goes into the bathroom and... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Al Marsh does not see anything in the pipes. He hugs Beverly and tells her to... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...She cooks her father hamburger meat, as he demands. Beverly also makes his lunch and Al Marsh tells her to tell her mother, Elfrida, to clean the place. Beverly agrees that... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...on how quickly Beverly is growing up, noticing her developing body. She then asks if Al ever touches her, but Beverly is unsure of what her mother means. Elfrida lets the... (full context)
Chapter 11: Walking Tours
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...is shabby “but still dignified.” Her wrinkled face seems kind. The woman tells her that Al Marsh has been dead for five years. Beverly looks again at the mailboxes and sees... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Suddenly, the witch transforms into Beverly’s father, Al Marsh. Her father staggers toward her and his face hangs “with doughy, running flesh,” his... (full context)
Chapter 19: In the Watches of the Night
Domestic Abuse Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...can enter completely. She screams as she hits the wall then the family’s sagging sofa. Al reminds her that he worries about her, and that he sometimes worries a lot. He... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Al strikes Beverly in the face as he tells her that he has seen that she... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Al throws Beverly aside. He says that someone told him that Beverly plays in the Barrens... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Al tells Beverly that he has seen her smoking. This time, he strikes her with the... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...was someone dressed in orange and silver—a clown. She asks if it was a clown. Al tells his daughter to stop, and she tells him to stop. Al swings his hand... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...on the concrete, losing the skin on both knees. She looks behind her and sees Al coming for her, but It is in his eyes. Beverly runs from It. They run... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...dumpster is parked there and leaves no clearing for her to escape. She can hear Al getting closer. She throws herself down and gets under the dumpster. Her father catches up... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...tall hedge between the seminary and Kansas Street. Beverly peers through the hedge and sees Al on the far side of the street, breathing hard. She hopes to God that her... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Al walks slowly down the sidewalk. He does not see Beverly. She picks herself up slowly.... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...and the other bullies followed her down the street. Ashamed, she omits the part about Al. (full context)