Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Question of the Day #50: In the story 'Lisey's Story', what did you think of Stephen King's use of the word bad-gunky?

I feel that Stephen King used the word bad-gunky to illustrate a few things.  Bad-gunky was coined by Scott Landon's  father Sparky Landon to mean mental illness.  Sparky had a history of violence toward his children because he was suffering from mental illness .  His use of the word bad-gunky illustrated that he had the mind of a child and that his ideas about mental illness were ill-formed.  His way of  trying to prevent or deal with what he thought of as bad-gunky in his children guaranteed that mental illness would present itself and rear its ugly head in his children.  Yes, I understand there was a history of mental illness in his family but could the children have been spared the severity of their illnesses had Sparky taken care of his own bad-gunky?  Was Sparky Landon the reason Scott's older brother Paul had the severe mental breakdown that he did?  Personally, I think he had a lot to do with the severity of Paul's illness.  Scott being the youngest sibling was spared some but not all, of the horrible punishments dealt out by Sparky.  Scott too had Boo'ya Moon to help him escape the hell he was living, which I feel helped him.  Scott's infantile understanding of what happened to him and Paul carried into his adulthood.  I feel that this was a case of mental illness begets mental illness.  I still get a sick feeling in my stomach thinking of Paul the week after the event in the kitchen.

Lisey's Story was marked by one unfortunate event after another.  This was one story that I may revisit in another "Question of the Day" mostly because this story made me ask "what if" many times throughout the story.

*Post your thoughts or opinions in comments.

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