Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roots for Harold's Evil

Last night, I read pages 822-833 of Stephen King’s The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition. In this post, I’ll talk about Harold. Harold knows that Fran broke into his apartment because she realizes that he looked into her diary, and now she wants to read Harold’s diary to see what he’s thinking. But Harold does not think that she found his ledger, for Harold wrote there that he wants to kill Stu, and Fran would be a lot less friendly towards him if she knew that he wrote that. This part of The Stand was somewhat meaningful to me because I’ve sought at times to gauge whether I’ve upset people or not, and that’s essentially what Harold does.

Harold is also struggling over whether to remain in the Free Zone or to go to the villain, Randall Flagg. Harold is tempted to accept the scales as even rather than continuing to seek revenge on Stu and Fran for their romance, for, as Harold reflects, he technically got back at Fran because she’s uneasy over him having read her diary. But Harold still resents being left off of the Free Zone committee. He thought it was because of his youth, but Nick Andros is on the committee and is only two years older than Harold. Harold also thinks that the Free Zone is beneath him, for he doesn’t want to spend his life writing thank-you notes to those he looks down on. Moreover, Harold believes that Flagg will win in the end, for, while the Free Zone consumes time on committees and the Constitution, Flagg is mobilizing to strike. As Harold notes, Flagg understands Darwin! My impression is that Harold is drawn to Flagg’s efficiency and ruthlessness.

Harold desires peace with himself and with others, but there are opposite attitudes within him as well: resentment, contempt, boredom, and an admiration for dictatorship, strength, efficiency, and ruthlessness. In Harold’s case, these attitudes become a root for his evil actions.

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