Study Guide

It - Part Four, July of 1958: Chapter 18, The Bullseye Summary & Analysis

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Part Four, July of 1958: Chapter 18, The Bullseye Summary

Ben tells the story of how he came to be nearly disemboweled. It began with the night the children made the silver slugs. Bill's parents have gone out for the night, so the children gather at Bill's house, supposedly to play a board game. They use Mr. Denbrough's workbench to melt and mold the slugs. Ben does most of the work as he seems to be the most confident using his hands and the tools. The other children stand around and watch, fascinated by the whole process. They clean up before Bill's parents get home and sit down to a rousing game of Monopoly.

A few days later, the Losers Club arrives at 29 Neibolt Street. Bill believes they can find It here and wants to confront it as a group rather than one on one like before. Everyone is afraid, but they gather strength from each other. The children enter the house through the same window Richie and Bill used before. They go upstairs, entering into the kitchen first. Beverly is frightened by a rat in the cupboard, nearly wasting one of their two silver slugs. Bill calms her down and leads the group out of the kitchen and into the living room. The house seems to change as they make their way through, first becoming larger and giving Ben the impression of being separated from his friends. In the hallway, the ceiling seems to fly into the sky, stretching so far that everything becomes distorted. Stan panics, telling everyone that he has nothing to protect himself with. Bill reminds him of the power of his birds whose names saved him in his first encounter with It. Bill touches the ceiling, crushing the illusion and bringing the house back into proper dimensions.

The Losers begin to hear a noise coming from one of the bedrooms. They are afraid, but when they open the door and reveal a can sitting in the middle of the room, Mike explains that it is nothing but a mooseblower, a device used on farms to scare away the crows. The Losers then turn their attention to the bathroom. The room is empty at first, but the toilet appears to have exploded recently. Just as the kids are beginning to think they will not see It today, a noise comes from the toilet drain. Suddenly, it appears in the shape of a werewolf. The werewolf goes after Bill. Beverly fires at it but misses. However, this causes It to turn Its attention to her. Ben jumps in the way, drawing its attention to him. The werewolf attacks Ben, cutting open his belly and throwing him in the bathtub. After it finishes with Ben, It turns its attention back to Bev. Beverly takes her time aiming, wanting to be sure to make a hit this time. Beverly does hit It, taking a chunk out of Its nose. It becomes enraged, crying out in pain.

Even though Beverly used the last silver slug with that final shot, the boys start yelling at her to kill it. Beverly prepares the slingshot as though she has another slug and is ready to fire. It stares at them for a long moment and then retreats back down the toilet drain. The kids feel elated, as though they have won a great battle. They go back to the clubhouse to soak in what has happened, feeling powerful for the first time in their short lives. The Losers finally believe they might be able to kill It.

Part Four, July of 1958: Chapter 18, The Bullseye Analysis

Bill and his group of friends meet at his house while his parents are out and make two silver slugs with which they hope to kill It. The Losers believe, like most kids, that silver bullets will kill just about any monster as it works in the movies. The Losers put this theory to the test right away by going to the house at 29 Neibolt Street. This house is the same one where Eddie saw the leper and where Richie and Bill battled the werewolf. As they enter the house, they find an abandoned home that is rat infested. However, as they move through the rooms, the house begins to change. First it becomes larger, separating the children as It knows that they are stronger when they are together. Second, it changes the proportions of the house, making the hallway elongated. Again, this is used to frighten and cause the Losers to lose their determination to fight.

Stan's intense fear in this situation is of importance as the reader already knows that fright associated with this summer will cause Stan to kill himself twenty-seven years later. Stan appears to be the weak link in this group of friends. This makes the reader wonder if he caused the Losers to fail in their attempt to kill It and thus brought them back all these years later. However, the reader also already knows it was Stan who made all the Losers promise to come back, so perhaps this idea is false. Whatever the case, Stan appears to be more frightened than the others, and his behavior suggests a weakness that could have potential risk for the others.

When It finally shows itself, it comes in the shape of the werewolf Richie saw the last time he came to this house. It is faced with seven children. It picks Bill to attack first, perhaps aware that Bill is the leader of this group. Beverly jumps to Bill's defense, firing one of the silver slugs, and misses. This causes It to focus on her. Ben jumps in to defend Beverly, and It nearly disembowels him. This love triangle has now endangered the lives of two of the children who need not have jumped into the fray. Now, the reader must wonder what other situations this love triangle will cause or perhaps complicate.

The last slug does find its mark and injures It. It becomes enraged, but when the Losers pretend they still have more slugs and Beverly could kill It, It believes them and runs away. This power invigorates the Losers and makes them feel as though they could possibly win this fight. For the first time, they are empowered and excited. The reader sees this and begins to wonder why It believed them. It is a powerful entity that has been feeding on children and tragedy in Derry since the beginning of time. What is so different about these children that suddenly they have power over It?

This section contains 1,103 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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