Study Guide

It - Part Two, June of 1958: Chapter 4, Ben Hanscom Takes a Fall 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 1,043 words
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Part Two, June of 1958: Chapter 4, Ben Hanscom Takes a Fall Summary

Ben is flying to Derry. Ben stares out the window and begins to remember some of the details of his childhood. Ben remembers the day school let out for the summer. Ben runs out of the building to get away from Henry Bowers, because he knows Henry blames him for the fact that he will have to go to summer school. During the final exams, Henry asked Ben to allow him to cheat, but Ben refused so Henry failed. Ben makes it out of the building and goes to the library, one of his favorite places to go. Ben has no friends, so the library and the books he checks out fill the majority of his time. At the library, Ben sees a notice reminding everyone about the curfew. This makes Ben think about his mother's warnings to always be home by dinnertime and the watch she gave him to help him keep track of time. After choosing his books, Ben sees a display of postcards and decides to buy one. Ben writes a haiku on the postcard and mails it to Beverly Marsh.

Ben leaves the library and begins to walk home. Ben is thinking about Beverly, fantasizing about kissing her, so distracted by the fantasy that he does not notice the boys walking behind him. Henry Bowers, Victor Criss and Belch Huggins are quietly coming up behind Ben. Victor and Belch grab Ben and push him up against a fence that separates the road from the wild area known as the Barrens. Henry asks Ben what he will say the next time someone asks him to cheat. When Ben does not answer the way Henry wants, Henry decides to leave a reminder on Ben's stomach. Henry pulls out a knife and begins to carve his name in Ben's stomach. After Henry has cut an H on Ben's stomach, Ben is able to push back against the fence he is leaning against and cause it to break. Ben rolls into the Barrens, climbs to his feet and runs.

Ben runs into the Barrens, passes by a place where some kids are playing, and finds a cave created by a fallen tree in which he can hide. Ben lays there and listens to Henry and his friends search for him, hears them harass the other kids, scared of what might happen if Henry finds him. However, after a time, Ben falls asleep from the exhaustion of running through the Barrens. Ben has a dream that is more of a memory. Ben's dream is about a time in January right after school resumed after Christmas. Ben stayed after school to help his teacher. Afterward, Ben walked home alone in the freezing weather. When Ben reached the canal, he saw a mummy like the mummy in a movie he had seen recently, walking on the frozen water in the canal. The mummy called out to him and talked about things floating, inviting Ben to join him. Ben watched him, seemingly frozen in place, until he realized that the balloons the mummy was holding were floating against the wind. This fact frightened Ben so much that he ran away, barely escaping the mummy who had somehow reached the side of the canal much faster than he should have. Ben wakes from this dream and begins to walk back the way he came, sure Henry and his friends have given up. When Ben reaches the place where the other boys were playing, he discovers that one of the boys is having a terrible asthma attack.

Part Two, June of 1958: Chapter 4, Ben Hanscom Takes a Fall Analysis

Ben Hanscom is excited that school is out. Ben escapes the school quickly to get ahead of the bully who is out to beat him up and goes to the library. Ben appears to be a happy young man, but the author points out that Ben is a lonely boy, because he has no friends. Ben does not seem to realize how lonely he really is, though, because he has his routines and his pastimes that make him happy. At the library, Ben reveals his deep feelings for a fellow classmate, Beverly Marsh. Ben writes Beverly a haiku and sends it to her anonymously, hoping it will bring her happiness even though Ben knows she will think someone else sent it to her. Ben's selflessness in this actions shows the reader what a compassionate and kind young man he already is at eleven-years-old.

Ben leaves the library and fantasizes about Beverly so long that he does not hear Henry Bowers and his friends come up behind him. Henry is upset, because Ben would not allow him to cheat on the final tests and decides to make Ben pay by carving his initials into his belly. Ben manages to escape after Henry has carved the H, leading Henry and his friends on a chase through the Barrens. Ben manages to get away, but Henry is so angry that the reader suspects this will not be the last time Ben or the reader will see him.

While hiding, Ben has a dream that is really a memory of something strange that happened to him the previous January. Ben was approached at the canal by a mummy that seemed straight out of the movies. Ben was not scared at first but soon became very frightened when he realized there was something unnatural about the mummy. Not only this, but Ben sees that the balloons the mummy is holding are floating against the wind. Ben's realization that this is impossible touches on the theme of magic, since magic can be the only explanation of why balloons are floating against the wind, not to mention how a movie monster happens to be walking on the ice in the middle of Derry, Maine. Ben's sighting of the mummy also causes the reader to remember Ben mentioning the curfew in Derry and his mother's concern about him being home by dinner every night. Something strange is going on in Derry. Perhaps, the reader will begin to find out what this is in the following chapters.

This section contains 1,043 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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