The Exorcist Summary
William Peter Blatty

Everything you need to understand or teach The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

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The Exorcist Summary

The central and overt themes in The Exorcist are metaphysical: What is the nature of man? How does one explain the existence of evil, and can that be reconciled with the existence of a benign God? Even the epigraphs of the three sections of the novel show a movement from the problem of evil, both supernatural and human, to an affirmation of faith and love by St. Paul. These issues are dramatized in the plot, but also discussed openly (too much so for some critics, who found fault with such expository lumps) by the characters, especially Father Karras and Lieutenant Kinderman.

Perhaps the deepest fear exploited by The Exorcist, running under and alongside more specific social issues, is that of death and nothingness after death. In the novel, the night that the first signs of Regan's possession manifest themselves (rapping noises that her mother hears), Chris MacNeil dreams...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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The Exorcist Short Guide

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