It

It

by

Stephen King

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It: Derry: The Last Interlude Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On June 4, 1985, Mike writes that Bill entered his hospital room and gave him his notebook, which Carole Danner found on one of the library tables and gave Bill when he asked for it. Mike notices that Bill’s stutter is disappearing again, but he looks as though he has aged about four years in four days. Bill says that Audra will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow. Physically, she is fine—there were only minor cuts and bruises. Mentally, however, she is still in a catatonic state.  Mike tells Bill that he will be in the hospital for another week and suggests that Bill take Audra to his place and spend time talking to her. Bill still regrets telling Audra where he was going, but he accepts Mike’s offer.
Bill’s stutter is disappearing because he thinks that he no longer needs to tap into his childhood self. Still, the struggle with It has left him aged, and there is the additional stress of worrying about whether or not Audra will return to normal. Bill’s sense of guilt is also returning. Just as he feels that he disappointed George by letting him go out alone, he feels guilty for putting Audra into this state by telling her that he was returning to Derry.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Bill says that Richie flew back to California in the morning. Mike asks if Bill will stay in touch. Bill thinks that he might, but he worries that the forgetting will occur again. So far, it is just little details that are disappearing from his memory, but he thinks the forgetting will spread. Mike thinks that this may be for the best.
The forgetting first occurred in the late summer of 1958, when the group sent It away. Details of the encounter disappeared, but later the group forgot nearly everything. Mike regards the forgetting as a cleansing, which will allow the group to start new lives.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Mike asks about Ben and Beverly. Bill smiles a little and says that Ben invited her back to Nebraska with him, and she has agreed to go, at least for a while. Beverly also told Bill that she will go back to Chicago the week after next to file a missing-persons report on Tom Rogan. Bill says, too, that he thinks that Beverly does not really remember what happened to Tom. Bill then says that he cannot remember what the doorway to Its place looked like. He gets, instead, an image of goats walking across a bridge, like in the story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”
Ben and Beverly have finally become a couple. She understands now that Al and Tom’s attempts to control her had nothing to do with love, and that Ben is the only man she has ever known who ever sought to protect and love Beverly selflessly. Bill’s memory of the fairy tale in relation to Its doorway is a metaphor for the group crossing into Its lair. This is the only memory that he can still conjure up from his experience.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Before leaving Mike’s room, Bill does what Mike considers an odd but rather lovely thing—Bill leans over and kisses his cheek. Ben and Beverly visit next to say “goodbye.” They have decided to drive back to Nebraska together. He notices something in their eyes when they look at each other and thinks that they are lovers, or soon will be. They hug him and Ben asks if Mike will write. Mike says that he will, but he notices that he, too, is forgetting things. The notebook will have to remind him of what happened in Derry. Then again, he supposes that the words on the page will also begin to fade, leaving the notebook as blank as it was when he bought it.
Bill repeats the gesture that George made on the last day that the brothers saw each other. The kiss, which Bill remembers, is a sign that Bill regards Mike as his brother. It is also a subtle indication that the two friends will not see each other again. Ben likewise senses that there will not be another reunion. His insistence that Mike write to him, instead of calling, is also a desire to retain some recorded evidence of their friendship and what they experienced, in case they continue to forget.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
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The forgetting suggests to Mike that they really did kill It. He realizes that there is no longer a need for a watchman to stand by and wait for the cycle to begin again. He feels both dull panic and a sense of relief, but he chooses to embrace the relief. Bill then calls to say that he and Audra have moved into Mike’s house, but there is no change in her.
The absence of It briefly leaves Mike with a feeling of no longer having a purpose. He has not only been watching out for It but has also been a chronicler of Its direct and indirect manifestations of evil throughout Derry’s history.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Mike calls Bill in the afternoon of the following day. There is still no change in Audra. He also calls Richie in California. Mike tells Richie that they are forgetting things again, and asks him what Stanley’s last name was. Richie does not know, but Mike finds it in his address book. Mike reasons that the distance is becoming palpable between them again. In six weeks or six months, they will have forgotten each other. Now, Mike cannot remember the name of Bill’s wife or what has happened to her.
Bill is worried that Audra will never come out of her catatonic state. Mike, meanwhile, relies on his records to recall key information about his friends. They forget about their connection to each other because It is what brought them together, now that It no longer exists, the group no longer needs each other. There is also a clear supernatural element to this sudden forgetting.
Themes
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Richie tells Mike that, if he is ever in Los Angeles, they should get together for a meal. Mike agrees and feels hot tears in his eyes. He says that if Richie ever comes back to Derry, the same offer goes. They hang up. Mike then lies back and closes his eyes for a long time.
Mike knows that he will never see Richie again, which explains why he wants to cry. They make offers to each other that both know they will never need to fulfill.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Some days later, Chief Andrew Rademacher is killed in his office in a bizarre accident. The tramp-chair from the attic comes crashing through the roof and falls directly upon him while he is working at his desk. Rademacher dies instantly. Meanwhile, Mike talks to Bill again about his wife. Audra is eating solid foods again. Otherwise, there is no change in her. Then, Mike asks if Eddie’s health problem was asthma or migraines. Bill reminds him that it was asthma. Then, Mike asks for Eddie’s last name and Bill says that it is “Kerkorian,” which is actually the fake last name that Richie used to call the hospital when Mike was admitted for his stab wound. Bill tells Mike how scary it is to forget, and Mike agrees.
The tramp-chair was a restraining device used by the police in the 19th-century to torture and publicly humiliate criminals or accused criminals. It is a remnant of Derry’s past, which the ladies of the Derry Historical Society did not want Mike to display during the fair. It falls on the chief as though something wishes to punish the chief for his willful denial of the evil that lingered in Derry.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Bill says he has an idea about how to get Audra back completely. Mike says he thinks that he knows what it is, but Bill will have to act quickly. The following day, June 9th, Mike wakes up from a terrible nightmare in which Mark Lamonica comes to him again with the hypodermic needle or Henry Bowers comes to him with his switchblade. He grabs his address book to call Ben. The number is fading from the page, but it is still legible. The call does not go through and a phone-company voice says that the line has been canceled. Mike tries to remember if Ben was fat when they were kids or if he had a club-foot. He lies awake until dawn.
Bill and Mike remain attuned to each other and have not yet forgotten key details about each other because Bill remains in Derry. Mike can only remember the incidents with Mark Lamonica and Henry in his dreams, and calls Ben, it seems, to confirm if these things actually happened. However, in leaving Derry, Ben has already forgotten about Mike, and Mike struggles to remember essential facts about their childhood.
Themes
Evil and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Fear and the Power of Fantasy Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Mike gets news that he can go home on June 11th. He calls Bill. Mike wants to warn Bill that his time is getting shorter all the time—Bill is the only member of the Losers’ Club whom Mike can remember. Bill says that he is ready to try his idea for how to help Audra, and Mike tells him to be careful. Mike asks Bill how he will know how things turn out. Bill says that he will “just know.” Mike hangs up thinking that, even if he forgets them all, he will remember them in his dreams.
What Mike means about Bill’s time “getting shorter” is that soon Bill will no longer believe in the power of his plan to save Audra from her catatonic state. Mike worries that he will not know how things turn out because, once Bill leaves Derry, Mike will probably not remember him either. Then he realizes that their memories exist in their dreams, where they are likelier to believe in the impossible.
Themes
Friendship and Loyalty Theme Icon
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon