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Skeleton Crew Summary & Study Guide Description
Skeleton Crew Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
David Draytonappears in The Mist
David Drayton is a commercial artist who lives in the small community of Brighton, Maine where he lives with his wife, Stephanie, and their five-year-old son, Billy. David is confident in his home, his neighbors, his community, and his place within it. He is also the narrator of the story and, as such, gives away his thoughts and fears, his insecurities and his determination to prevail. Once the original storm has hit full force, David has a premonition of danger to his wife and son which includes the picture window shattering inward and cutting them up. So when the window is broken, David's subsequent dream of God walking around the lake destroying the area leaves him with a forsworn quality.
Throughout the trials of being trapped in the store, David holds onto hope, instead of embracing the despair as the others do. His ability to work with what is thrown at him instead of fighting it is crucial to his survival, along with his sense of purpose in his thoughts of protecting his son as well as the others. It is his duty-minded direction that keeps himself and his son within a semblance of sanity despite the chaos that surrounds them. It is also this virtue that targets him as Mrs. Carmody's Achilles heel, drawing her vengeful wrath.
Mrs. Carmodyappears in The Mist
Mrs. Carmody is an antique dealer in the local community that has captured the attention of David's wife, Stephanie, in an eerie manor. She is often referred to as the person to go to if one is having difficulties in life. Due to her old world remedies, she is whispered to be a witch, and when faced with the circumstances of the creatures, she rises forth as a dark figure instead of shrinking away in fear as the others do.
Mrs. Carmody is a classic, distracting, secondary evil. She represents misguided vengeance that becomes prevalent in King's stories as she is the logical bad guy that comes to life through fear and pain. She thrives through the caged sequence of events in The Mist within the grocery store. Initially, Mrs. Carody is the lone voice that rants of the end of the world. As the events unfold, she gains believers, and as such, her violent nature gains strength. Through this, she channels a powerful direction for her inner darkness to project the evil outside her surroundings to the sins that she perceives within the people that she has always known. It is as if she is harboring these inner judgments and is now allowed to voice her disdain, especially for David. Ironically, David had previously stated that he did not care for her either for an unexplained reason. This proves justifiably so when Mrs. Carmody targets David's son Billy as her suggested sacrifice.
Stephen Kingappears in Introduction and Notes
Stephen King brings himself into this collection of stories by introducing them and then concluding the book with a few brief tales of how the stories came about in his head and the process he used to change them into the stories found in the book. His introduction gives the reader the basis for the I Guy, whom King uses for the beginning of his stories and places them in the "would it be funny if" scenario. He reveals that the majority of his work is based on the humor of a "what if" situation that he then changes into the complete work by adding and subtracting elements that lead the reader around a path in the story. King even admits to often completely changing the I Guy throughout the process by molding the characters based on their counterparts and surroundings.
Often, King is thought of as a master of the Horror genre, but if his work is read not for entertainment but through analysis, it becomes evident that the elements that make his work so frightening is its basis in human emotion. What the reader brings to the work is as important as what the work provides to the reader. He creates openings for the subconscious to avoid or walk through and face. Several of his works show this more humorous or reverent side to the creator than is often labeled on him.
Ophelia Toddappears in Mrs. Todd's Shortcut
Ophelia Todd is the young wife of Worth Todd and the driver of a champagne colored Mercedes convertible. She is said to be an extremely charitable and kind woman within the community where she and her husband vacation. Ophelia is taken with finding shortcuts through every back road she can find, including old logging trails. Her theory is that if one saves enough miles, one saves time. She imparts this theory to the handy man, Homer, and practically dares him to prove her wrong.
When she takes Homer on a joyride to prove that she has found the quickest way to Bangor, Ophelia Todd changes. Her demeanor becomes wild and ethereal. Homer compares her to the Goddess Diana chasing the moon across the sky. He also comments that he fears that she will turn her attentions to him and that he may feel her wrath, and although her beauty in those moments attracts him, he also fears it. Eventually the young woman disappears altogether, and the story begins based on that disappearance. However, the reader is reintroduced to her later on, where she appears even younger than before when she comes to collect Homer for their travels together. This appearance also is a tamer one, where she gives the impression that she is at home in her new place, content and not so wild.
Brent Nortonappears in The Mist
Brent Norton is the estranged neighbor of David Drayton who has had past property issues, causing a rift between him and David. Brent's prized car is destroyed during the storm, which causes him to join David and Billy on their excursion to the grocery store. Brent's legal background causes him to focus on facts, therefore denying the supernatural, which in essence leads to his death.
Homer Bucklandappears in Mrs. Todd's Shortcut
Homer Buckland tells the story of Mrs. Todd to his friend outside of Bells. He tells the story of Ophelia Todd's disappearance and the mysterious joyride that she had taken him on. Homer's infatuation begins while grouting the bathroom floor when Ophelia interrupts to tell him of her shortcut conquests. By attending Mrs. Todd on her shortcuts, Homer begins to look younger.
Randyappears in The Raft
In "The Raft", Randy suggests taking an October swim to the raft in Cascade Lake. It is also Randy who first notices the dark, oily water is suspiciously round. Randy is also the last to die but the only one of the four friends who chooses to do so.
Maureen Scollayappears in The Wedding Gig
Maureen Scollay is the overweight sister of a bootlegger, Mike Scollay. She is marrying an Italian, but their wedding reception is ruined by Mike's death.
Hal Shelburnappears in The Monkey
Hal Shelburn is the man terrorized by the decrepit monkey. During his childhood, Hal finds the monkey which causes many deaths. Hal thought that he had rid himself of the monkey by throwing it down a well; however, it resurfaces in his attic thirty years later and is discovered by his son, Dennis. This reawakens Hal's torment.
Spike Milliganappears in Morning Deliveries and Big Wheels: A Tale of the Laundry Gam
Spike Milligan appears in two stories in this collection. He is a homicidal milkman who terrorizes the townspeople.
This section contains 1,258 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)