Study Guide

It - Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 2, After the Festival, (1984) 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 587 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 2, After the Festival, (1984) Summary

The police are investigating the death of a gay man in downtown Derry. The man's lover tells the police that they had had trouble with a group of young men a few days before when the gay man, Adrian, had been confronted about a hat he was wearing. The hat was a paper top hat that said,

'I love Derry". Adrian had won it during the Canal Days Festival in downtown Derry. However, the leader of the young men felt it was a slap in the face of all the citizens in Derry for a gay man to be wearing such a hat. Before the young man could do anything about it, however, they were interrupted in the confrontation by a cop. The young man swore to find Adrian again and make him pay.

A few days later, Adrian and his lover were coming out of a bar when they ran into this group of young men again. The young men grabbed Adrian and began to beat him. Adrian's lover called for help, but no one seemed willing to intervene. Adrian's lover began to run away, still screaming for help, when the young men threw Adrian over the side of the canal. It is then that one of the young men claims to have seen a clown pull Adrian out of the water and take a bit out of his arm pit. Adrian's lover claims to have seen the same thing. However, the police believe that what they really saw was a homeless man who attempted to steal Adrian's wallet. The young men go on trial for murder, and there is no more mention of the clown.

Part One, The Shadow Before: Chapter 2, After the Festival, (1984) Analysis

A gay man is confronted by a group of young men for wearing a hat that offends their civic pride. The gay man, Adrian, is later attacked and killed by these same young men. It seems like a story that is completely unrelated to the previous chapter until the witnesses begin to mention a clown. The clown sounds remarkably like the one Georgie saw in the drain, the one who killed Georgie. The reader begins to wonder how a clown can still be around and young enough to be attacking young men more than twenty years after he first appeared in 1957. It is here that Pennywise begins to take on characteristics that the reader should find unusual. This clown looks exactly the same as the clown who killed Georgie.

Not only is the clown important to the plot of this novel at this point, but the violence with which the men reacted to Adrian seems to be important, as well. The violence, while unfortunately common in most cities, seems over the top for the situation. The young men do not like gay men and do not like a gay man wearing a hat declaring his love for their hometown. At most, this might create a situation in which Adrian might get a black eye or two. However, these young men confront Adrian with excessive violence and then throw him to his death in the canal below. Afterwards, one of the young men confesses that the leader of the group seemed overly agitated, overly focused on Adrian. This obsession is important, because it is a characteristic about the people in Derry that will come up again later in the novel.

This section contains 587 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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