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Copy of The Reaper's Image
Transcript of Copy of The Reaper's Image
The Reaper's Image
The main conflict of the story is man vs. nature in which Spangler tries to fight death, and unbeatable force of nature. He does not believe in the stories of death by the mirror, identifying Mr. Carlin as a fool to believe them, but the "Reaper" soon collects his soul.
Point of View
The point of view in The Reaper's Image is Third Person Omniscient because the reader knows the thoughts of both Spangler and Mr. Carlin and the story is told using he/she.
The theme of "The Reaper's Image" is death is inescapable.
Quote from the story supporting the theme: "Like the duchess who had paused after primping before her glass for a soiree and decided to go back into the sitting room for her pearls. Like the rug-merchant who had gone for a marriage ride and had left behind him only an empty carriage and two closemouthed horses." (King 6)
Everyone who look directly to the mirror tried to escape their end but failed miserably.
The death is often known as the Grim Reaper. Characters in the story tried to escape “The Reaper's Image” and were thereby trying to escape death which is impossible.
Simile -- “a tanned baldhead that shone like a varnished volleyball” (King 1).
aids in painting a picture of Mr. Carlin
Allusion; reference to Tennyson poem -- “a half-remembered Tennyson poem occurred to him, and he muttered it aloud: ‘I am half-sick of shadows,” said the Lady of Shalott...’” (King 6)
alludes to the poem, the Lady of Shalott, and refers to the loneliness of a mere reflection
Symbol -- the Delver looking-glass
symbolizes truth and reflection helping in portraying the theme
Simile -- “His words seemed to drop into the hot, still atmosphere like stones into dark water” (King 5).
helps in explaining how pointless Mr. Carlin’s historical babble is; no one listens.
Allusion; reference to Adonis in Greek Mythology -- “Adonis stared at them pitilessly with blank pupilless eyes” (King 2).
alludes to Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar, and supports the theme as the "blind Adonis," or death, continuously watches Spangler and Mr. Carlin throughout the story, nothing ever escaping his sight
There is another external man vs. man conflict in which throughout the story, Carlin and Spangler continue to insult each other over the validity of the stories suspended around the Delver Glass. "'Fact number five,' Mr. Carlin said. 'You're a supercilious bastard, aren't you?'" (King 3)
: Mr. Carlin and Spangler walk up the stairs and Carlin explains the history of the mirror to Spangler.
: They argue about the truthfulness of the stories about the Delver glass, finally reaching the gable room.
: Spangler sees the Reaper in the mirror.
: Spangler goes to the bathroom.
: Carlin himself looks into the depths of the mirror, finally, and waits. And waits.
Protagonists - Johnson Spangler and Mr. Carlin
Flat and Static
Antagonist - The Reaper
Flat and Static
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. He was raised by his mother (on her own) after his parents separated. He went on to study at the University of Maine in Orono, graduating in 1970 with a B.A. in English. He started writing his stories during college and successfully published his first story "Carrie" in 1973. King was inspired by his aunt's collection of science fiction and horror magazines and other horror writers . The element of horror is usually based on the pain he experiences when he is writing the story, and he liked experimenting with themes of death in his writing, like in "The Reaper's Image. While writing 'Salem's Lot, another horror piece about death, his mother had failing health and was dying of cancer.
Indirect characterization: "Spangler knew well, for he had spent all his adult life working in it." (King 2)
Personality: knowledgeable, rational, and arrogant
Indirect characterization: "Johnson Spangler had learned a long time ago that the only way to talk to a fool was to ignore him." (King 1)
Physical: Chubby, short, and bald
Direct characterization: "He was a little man, not quite fat, with rimless glasses and a tanned baldhead." (King 1)
Indirect characterization: "'The Delver glass isn't Sundaysupplmentized like the Koh-i-noor Diamond or the curse on King Tut's tomb.'" (King 3)
Compare and Contrast
Afraid of the Delver mirror
Museum tour guide
Direct physical description: "From around one corner of the mirror a moth-eaten buffalo head peered at him with flat obsidian eyes" (King 6).
Indirect description of personality: "I'm afraid I might look into it one day and see... what the rest of them saw" (King 2).
Cannot escape fate -- the Reaper
Are interested in antiques like the mirror
The story is set in Samuel Claggert Private Memorial Museum which is described as a dark, gloomy mansion. The historical period, time and weather conditions are not mentioned. The looks of the building and the dialogue hint that the setting is in a Southern, eerie place. The museum is described as having "imitation Moroccan drapes...madonnas holding numberless haloed babes while numberless angels flitted hither and thither in the background, grotesque scrolled candelabra, and one monstrous and obscenely ornate chandelier surmounted by a salaciously grinning nymphet" (King 1). It creates a mysterious and theatrical mood for readers, encouraging their interest. The mysterious setting also makes Spangler, the main character, more cautious of his surroundings.
"The Reaper’s Image" begins with a man named Spangler who comes to Samuel Claggert Memorial Private Museum to examine a mirror called the Delver Glass, which is said to have supernatural powers. Mr. Carlin informs him of the legacy of the mirror, as they climb up stairs to the gable room, that certain people who look in the Delver Glass will see the “Reaper”. And once they did, they would disappear without a trace, like the Bates boy who went to get a drink of water, and never returned. Spangler believes the stories to just be foolish superstitions, and he and Mr. Carlin argue about the validity of the stories. When they reach the gable room, Spangler looks directly in the mirror and sees the "Reaper" like everyone else does. Mr. Carlin begins to blabber nonsense and Spangler goes to the restroom, never returning. Mr. Carlin then, staring into the mirror himself, waits, and waits, likely dying in the end just like those before him.