Suffer The Little Children Suffer the Little Children, by Stephen King, is an interesting story that lives up to the expectations of all his other legendary works. His plot is twisted and contains many ironic happenings. The characters are divided into good and evil, but one is confused if the evil is real or imaginary. The setting sounds as if it is based on an actual place. The story, as a whole, keeps the reader anticipated and on the edge of his seat.
The setting is placed at an elementary school, where the kids attend class from eight to three, in a single room, with the same teacher all day. The teacher, Miss Sidley, is a small women that has been teaching a long time. She wears a brace due to the pains in her back, and thick glasses to view all of her pupils. Even though Miss Sidley is really petite and frail looking, she has her students scared of her, and they do not dare to try and pull anything over on her. The kids know not to chew gum, whisper, pass notes, or read, because even though Miss Sidley has her back turned, she catches them everytime. They feel as if she is God, because she knows everything at once. The story begins in a regular classroom, with Miss Sidley writing spelling words on the blackboard.
She calls on certain kids to use the new word in a sentence. She is very polite about it, but the kids still tremble. Then, she comes to Robert, a boy in the front row. She asks him to use the word tomorrow in a sentence. Robert answered, Tomorrow a bad thing will happen.
Then he wrinkled his nose and smiled slyly. Miss Sidley did not say anything, but this bothered her greatly. She could hardly sleep that night and knew something was wrong with Robert. Robert and a few of the other kids kept making strange smirks and looking at Miss Sidley weird. The reader can now tell something is wrong with the picture and the plot starts to thicken.
He is anticipating what is exactly going on. The story is now inclining towards its major climax. Miss Sidley starts seeing more and more strange things, but tries to hide the matter. This is the last thing she wants, because she has been a strict teacher for years and she doesnt want the rest of the faculty to think she is getting to old and loosing her mind. She decides to keep Robert after school, so she can find out what the deal is.
Robert just maintained an evil smirk after class and said that there were eleven of them in the school. Miss Sidley kept warning him with different consequences, but his smile kept getting bigger and bigger. Robert then says, Do you want to see me change, Miss Sidley? and continues with, It will be just like Show and Tell, wont it , Miss Sidley? Robert-the other Robert-he liked Show and Tell. Hes still hiding way down in my head. The climax has almost peaked now.
The reader now knows that somebody took control of Roberts body; but what is it? Robert, what seems like finally to the reader, changes his face into an evil demon and starts to chuckle loudly. Of course this frightens Miss Sidley, sending her straight out of the room. Miss Sidley did not return for about a month, saying she did not feel herself lately. Robert changing his face is the climax of the story, because this is when the reader finds out what he has been questioning throughout the whole story. After this major climax the story starts declining again, but then reaches another high point. When Miss Sidley returned to her class a month later, she tried to ignore the matter, until she couldnt take it anymore. One afternoon she brought a handgun to school and told the class they were to have a test, one by one, in the mimeograph room. This room was soundproof and at the end of the hall.
Robert was assigned first and she took him to the room. He started to change his face again and she shot him. Then, one by one she shot each kid, until Mrs. Crossen came to get paper and saw the pile of bodies. Miss Sidley was begging the child to change their face, but the child just cried.
Miss Sidley bringing a handgun to school and shooting each kid is the next high point of the story. After this occurrence, the story declines, until the very end. Miss Sidley is sent to a Juniper Hall, where she is analyzed, given the most recent drugs, and does daily therapy. Buddy Jenkins, her psychiatrist, watched Miss Sidley behind a one-way glass, as she watched a bunch of innocent, retarded children. No problems occurred for awhile, and then one day the children started doing some of the same things as her previous students. Miss Sidley left the kids immediately and went to her room.
As she walked away, Buddy noticed the children do strange things and began to wonder himself. That night Miss Sidley killed herself, and in the end Buddy could hardly take his eyes off the children. The story ends at a high point, because the reader is now on the edge of their seat again, and there is not a resolution to the story. A number of ending could occur, but one does not know which one to choose. It could end with Buddy seeing the same as Miss Sidley, or finding out it was bogus the whole time, or finding out how to get rid of the demons in the children. Stephen King left the reader hanging, perhaps to let it end the way one imagines it, or how one wants the story to end. Miss Sidley, is the main character of this story. The story is based around her and begins with her writing on the chalkboard, and ends with her killing herself.
One could perceive her as the hero or the antihero, depending on how he perceived the story. One can not tell if Miss Sidley is conflicted with the children or possibly having an internal struggle. There are few places which leaves the reader to question the concept. For instance, even though Robert uses the word tomorrow evil in his sentence, he says them perfectly innocuous, meaning he had no intentions of sounding evil. King also makes her appear to have some loose nuts in her head. When Miss Sidley heard the little girls say her name she thought, They knew she was there.
Yes. Yes they did. The little bitches knew. She would shake them. Shake them until their teeth rattled and their giggles turned to wails, she would thump their heads against the tile walls and she would make them admit that they knew.
This is not what a normal person would think if he heard someone say his name to a friend. She also is being portrayed as skittish, because she keeps repeating herself. Another place one is not sure rather the happenings are real or in her mind is right after she shoots Robert in the room. After he falls to the ground she says, No! It was all in your mind, Emily. All in your mind. No! No, no, no! Miss Sidley is now even doubting herself.
At the end, after Miss Sidley leaves the room, it does seem as if the story is true, because Buddy starts to see for himself, but this could merely be because he has been talking about the happening so much with Miss Sidley, he is starting to imagine them himself. Just as if a person sees a bizarre movie and starts to witness more and more occurrences that make the movie seem true; even though it is impossible. Going more technical into the story there are many synedoches which are written. For example, when the story says that Miss Sidleys eyes could turn the toughest knees to water, it does not mean literally. This also occurs when the narrator states that Miss Sidleys tongue is a school-yard legend.
The narrator brought more aspects to life by using similes and onomatopoeias. He uses an example of a simile when describing Roberts eyes. He says, His eyes were a very dark brown, like the mud at the bottom of a slow-running stream. Another good example would be when the narrator described the look that wouldnt leave Miss Sidleys mind. It was put as, It was stuck there, like a tiny string of roast beef between two molars.
Some examples of Stephen King using onomatopoeia are when describing how the electric clock buzzed and when describing the little girl crying waah.waahh.waahh. This story is based upon a realistic setting and unrealistic characters if the happenings are true. Miss Sidley is the main character, and with her actions, one can make two different interpretations depending on how one evaluates the story. The plot is intertwined with abnormal circumstances, which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. There is one major climax, a high point, and a third high point, ending the story.
The ending allows for several different possibilities, giving the choice to the reader. Stephen Kings, Suffer the Little Children, is another example of his brilliant writing and twisted mind. Book Reports.