Study Guide

It - Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 1, After the Flood (1957) Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 90 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of It.
This section contains 612 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 1, After the Flood (1957) Summary

It by Stephen King is a novel about friendship and the magic of childhood. The novel centers around seven core characters, friends who bonded as children during a summer of darkness. Twenty-seven years later, they reunite to fulfill a promise made that terrible summer. Evil lives under their hometown and, for some reason they do not understand, these seven have been destined to bring an end to the terrible cycle of death and destruction. These friends fought It once before, but now It is back, and they must end the evil for good. It is a novel of magic, mystery, and horror that will entertain readers of all ages.

Bill Denbrough is sick in bed with the flu. Bill's little brother, Georgie, is bored as it has been raining for several days, there is a flood, and he has nothing to do. Georgie tries to build a paper sail boat out of a crafts book, but has no luck. George takes the boat to Bill and is thrilled when Bill is able to make the boat just like the book says it ought to be. Bill then waterproofs the boat and sends Georgie outside to play with it. Georgie sails the boat in the gutters, forgetting there is a drain at the end of the street. When the boat reaches the drain, it falls inside. Georgie leans down to retrieve the boat and sees a clown holding it. The clown tries to get Georgie to go into the drain with him, saying that there is a circus down there, and down there everyone floats. Georgie refuses, but reaches inside to take his boat. When he does this, the clown rips his arm from his body. Georgie is found moments later by a neighbor but it is already too late. Georgie is dead.

Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 1, After the Flood (1957) Analysis

Bill is sick in bed during a flood in his hometown of Derry, Maine. Georgie, his little brother, comes to him for help making a boat. Not suspecting anything malicious, Bill helps the boy as he is bored, and because it is the nice thing to do. Bill loves his brother and this is clear in his patience as he helps the boy build and waterproof the boat. Bill sends Georgie on his way, believing he is sending him outside to have fun. However, Georgie is killed when a clown rips his arm from his body.

This chapter introduces two important characters. The first is Bill Denbrough. Bill is an eleven-year-old boy, sick in bed, but still willing to help his little brother. Bill is patient and loving despite the typical sibling angst that goes on between him and his brother. The reader sees all this about Bill and must wonder what will happen to Bill after his brother's death. The death of a sibling, especially in these circumstances, is difficult and will color the rest of Bill's life, including the time covered as the plot of the novel unfolds. The other important character introduced here is Pennywise the Clown. It is not common for a clown to have a circus in a sewer drain and for clowns to kill. Pennywise is a killer working in a clown suit in order to entice children to trust him. However, the reader must wonder what a man is doing in the sewer drain. This detail suggests something strange about Pennywise and leaves the reader wondering if there might not be something more about this clown that they do not yet understand.

This section contains 612 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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