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Suffer The Little Children

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DaVon Maddox

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Suffer The Little Children

Suffer The Little Children
By Stephen King
Project By
DaVon Maddox
Dyamond Jeffries-Kurr
Krystal Cherry

Miss. Sidley is the strictest teacher at her elementary school. Every child feared her, but she was fine with it until she was challenged by one of her students, Robert. Robert was different than his other classmates with his sly remarks and gestures that seemed to foreshadow that something demonic or mysterious would soon happen. One day, Miss. Sidley saw Robert morph his face into a demonic structure, but she couldn't tell if it was a figment of her imagination or not. Soon, Miss. Sidley gets the impression that every child is a part of this weird behavior and takes it upon herself to kill all of them, except for one girl. She gets moved to a mental institution where she is to interact with children to overcome this feeling that all children are evil, but eventually randomly commits suicide.
Elements of Fear
The first sentence of the story is "Miss Sidley was her name, and teaching was her game." This playful diction is repeated once again later in the story to emphasize the fact that she is working with young children and that we have to keep in mind that it is children that drive her over the edge.
Elements of Fear
"Behind her, none of the children giggled or whispered or munched on secret sweets held in cupped hands. They all knew Miss. Sidley's deadly instincts too well."

This description helped to characterize Ms. Sidley before she went insane.

"Her tongue was a schoolyard legend. The eyes when focused on a giggler or whisperer, could turn the stoutest knees to water."

This personification of Miss. Sidley gave an exaggeration to prove how mean she seemed to the students.
Elements of Fear
"Tomorrow a bad thing will happen."

This quote is a foreshadowing that we can expect something scary to happen soon in the story involving Robert.
Elements of Fear
"A kind of quiet contempt that was upsetting and unnerving. As if they were...hiding behind masks? Is that it? She pushed the thought away and went into the lavatory."

This sets the tone of Miss. Sidley being paranoid and she is beginning to realize that she is becoming paranoid and deathly afraid of these children, especially Robert.
Elements of Fear
"They seemed to elongate, to flow like dripping tallow, taking on strange hunched shapes that made Miss. Sidley cringe back against the porcelain washstands, her heart swelling in her chest."

This is a use of imagery that helps the reader get in the same mindset as Miss. Sidley and understand why she is becoming more and more terrified of these children.
Themes In The Text
She did not speak. Not yet. Robert would hang himself if given just a little more rope. 'Tomorrow,' she pronounced clearly. 'Robert, you will please use the word tomorrow in a sentence.'...'Tomorrow a bad thing will happen.' Robert said."

This quote helps support the theme that one small thing may be just enough to tip the scale. This means that one small action that may seem harmless can be enough to send someone into a crazy mental state.
Another Example of that Theme
"The look wouldn't leave her mind. It was stuck there, like a tiny string of roast beef between two molars - a small thing, actually, but feeling as big as a cinder block."

Stephen King could' have included this theme as a subliminal message that he's against the act of bullying, like Miss. Sidley did towards her students.
Language in the Text
"Would you mind checking the paper towels in the girls' lav?"
- Mr. Hanning

Mr. Hanning's use of the word "lav" or lavatory gives insight on the time period or setting of the story, since it is now commonly referred to as a "restroom" or "bathroom" versus "lavatory".
Language in the Text
"Miss. Sidley frowned after them, reflecting that children had been different in her day. Not more polite - children have never had time for that - and not exactly more respectful of their elders; it was a kind of hypocrisy that had never been there before. A smiling quietness around adults that had never been there before. A kind of quiet contempt that was upsetting and unnerving."

The way Miss. Sidley describes children gives more insight to her characterization as she compares them to children of "her day". This gives the reader more access to the thought process of Miss. Sidley as she begins to analyze the children more as she becomes more paranoid.
Language in the Text
"And at the head of the grave was Robert, a small sober sexton ready to shovel, the first spade of dirt into her face."

Stephen King used this quote as a humorous way to say that Robert probably disliked Miss. Sidley the most out of all of his classmates, so if the children were present when she died he would probably be the first one ready to throw the dirt into her grave after her burial.
Language in the Text
"Buddy Jenkins was his name, psychiatry was his game."

This playful style of diction is used for the psychiatrist at the end of the story, just like how Miss. Sidley was introduced. King could have used this style as emphasis on introducing a new character. At the beginning of the story, after using the same line for Miss. Sidley, King went into detail and described her method of work, just like he did for Jenkins.
Language in the Text
"No trial."

This short, blunt sentence was used as a way of transition to introducing a new topic at a later date in the story. King could have done this as a way of making the story more dramatic, suspenseful, and surprising to the reader, considering Miss. Sidley had just murdered all of her students, except for one.
Additional Imagery/Figurative Language
"She sat down to her solitary dinner at five (poached eggs on toast) still thinking about it."

It's ironic that she is an old lady with a bland personality that doesn't allow any type of fun and she eats a bland dinner. Bland diet for a bland lady.
Additional Imagery/Figurative Language
"It was stuck there, like a tiny string of roast beef between two molars - a small thing, actually, but feeling as big as a cinder block."

This simile was used to show that Miss. Sidley was really bothered by Robert's face even though it was something small and probably not worth stressing over.

" 'Close that book right now please.' ... 'And you will remain at your desk for fifteen minutes after the final bell.'"

It is ironic that Jane got in trouble for trying to gain an education in school and she got in trouble for reading during English class.
"His face suddenly ran together like melting wax, the eyes flattening and spreading like knife-stuck egg yolks, nose widening and yawning, mouth disappearing. The head elongated, and the hair was suddenly not hair but straggling, twitching growths."

This imagery helps the reader better imagine the face Ms. Sidley was so afraide of.
The story gets two stars because it wasn't exactly gruesome or scary, but it was suspensful and kept the readers' attention until the end.
Parts that were "Scary":
- Robert was able to change faces.
- The teacher brought a gun to school.
- The teacher shot all of the children except 1.
- The teacher killed herself at the end of the story.
Full transcript