What I Hope People Get From “Carrie”

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Living and Life, Reflections
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It seems only lately we as an American people have begun to realize that bullying is more than just something all people have to go through while in school. It’s a problem, one that should be a crime punishable by law, and if left untreated, it can lead to depression, suicide, and in some extreme cases, violence. The subject of bullying is one I’m all too familiar with: in third grade I was bullied horribly in the form of nasty and ridiculous rumors that my classmates ate up, and eventually I just said they were true in the hope they would shut up and leave me alone (they didn’t). In fourth grade I changed schools, but a few kids thought I’d make a great target for teasing. Boy, did they realize just how wrong they were when little fourth-grade me decided to fight them off!

Why do I mention this story? Because in a strange way, Carrie White from Stephen King’s Carrie is very similar to me. Although my home life was much better than Carrie’s, I was in elementary school, I didn’t have psychic powers, and I belonged to a different religion (among other things), Carrie and I both faced daily torture in the form of bullying, and we both wanted revenge, to lash out and take control of an uncontrollable situation. And in the end we both did, though my lashing out was bloodless and had better results than Carrie’s did.

I hope that when people see any version of Carrie–the 1976 film, the 2002 TV remake, or the new version due out in spring 2013–or if they read the novel, they realize just how horrible bullying is. It’s not just something kids do, and it doesn’t toughen anyone up. It’s a form of abuse and harassment, and if schools are any good at taking care of their students, they will crack down on bullying. If I had my way, I’d require schools across the nation to either show a version of Carrie to the students–ratings and nudity be damned, they see that stuff at home already, so why not show it at school with some moral lessons attached–or make it required reading in middle school. Yes, that early! And I’d include the ABC Family film Cyberbully to further get the point across!

So if you plan on seeing or reading Carrie anytime soon, I suggest you keep in mind what the story of Carrie White can teach us about accepting those different than us. Thanks for reading.

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