It

It

by

Stephen King

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The Turtle Character Analysis

The creator of the universe in the world of It. Bill Denbrough encounters the Turtle when the Losers’ Club goes to kill It in It's lair. The Turtle is “a large presence” that does not inspire fear but “a sense of overmastering awe.” Its shell is “plated with many blazing colors” and the Turtle’s eyes are “kind.” The Turtle introduces itself to Bill and apologizes for creating It, which came to life, along with the universe, as the result of “a bellyache.” Though Bill begs the Turtle for help, it insists that it “[takes] no stand in these matters.” The Turtle is symbolic of the indifference of the universe, which leaves mortals to fight against evil independently. The only advice that the Turtle gives Bill is to recite the speech that he learned to control his stutter. This tactic will give him a sense of control over It. The Turtle makes several appearances in the novel. The Turtle's image first appears when George Denbrough goes into his dark basement to get some paraffin wax for the paper boat that Bill constructs for him. He sees “an old flat can of Turtle wax” that he stares at “with a kind of hypnotic wonder.” George has a sense of having seen the image before. On the same day, Bill, who is sick with the flu, sleeps and has a dream about a turtle or “some funny little animal.” When Eddie is beaten up by Henry Bowers, he sees a chalk drawing on a hopscotch grid that starts to look like a turtle. The Turtle is It's enemy. It regards the Turtle as “a stupid old thing that never [comes] out of its shell.” It has believed the Turtle to have been dead for a billion years, and It later lies to Bill about killing the Turtle.
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The Turtle Character Timeline in It

The timeline below shows where the character The Turtle appears in It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: After the Flood
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
...the junk on the shelf as fast as he can and finds a can of turtle wax. He stares at the turtle on the lid, transfixed. George comes out of his... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...bowl from the Welsh dresser in the dining room, he continues to think about the turtle. He wonders where he has seen it before. Sharon starts playing Für Elise again—the song... (full context)
Derry: The First Interlude
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...to his old friends. He remembers Bill Denbrough telling them many years ago how the turtle could not help them. Instead, the group held the hands they had cut open with... (full context)
Chapter 11: Walking Tours
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...Beverly saved their lives with it. He looks down and thinks that he sees a turtle, but it is only a hopscotch grid, half-erased by the rain. He recalls the word... (full context)
Chapter 19: In the Watches of the Night
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...the rest of it, but something spoke strongly against the idea—probably the voice of the Turtle. He thinks that the repetition of their last act could be a part of the... (full context)
Chapter 21: Under the City
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Before the universe, there were only two things: It and the Turtle. It arrived long after the Turtle withdrew into its shell. Derry had been Its “killing-pen,”... (full context)
Chapter 22: The Ritual of Chüd
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...senses another shape in the dark—a power that overwhelms Its power. He sees a great Turtle. Its shell is plated with many blazing colors and its eyes are kind. The Turtle... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...It might be, in Derry, It is physical and anything physical can be killed. The Turtle says that there is only Chüd, and that Bill is doing very well but time... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...and hears It scream again. Bill literally flies through the dark and pulls past the Turtle, whose head has withdrawn into its shell. The voice of the Turtle fades and there... (full context)
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...to kill Bill’s body while his mind is elsewhere. Bill begins to think that the Turtle really is dead, as It said. Richie then steps forward and does his Irish cop... (full context)