Salem's Lot

By Stephen King


Salems lot, located in New England, is full of mystery; however, it’s a completely ordinary town. When the sun goes away so does the peace, the town has a vampire illness spreading from person to person. It all seems to be centered in on the marsten house and Mr. Barlow, a creepy house and an older man who is in control over the spread of vampires. Ben Mears, the protagonist, returns to salems lot after 25 years to question its mystery as the focus of his next writing. He gathers up some town peoples who believe in the vampires and they try to stop them, this includes a 63-year old English teach, a boy who believes in monsters and a priest.

In this book I admire the different approach to vampires, unlike more modern stories this one plays on the fear aspect. Most other vampire stories tell of the cross over and the effect it has on the individual, and how the person is still the person but with the disease, but this shows the effect on the overall surrounding and how it is repelled because the vampires aren't people anymore. Stephan king especially uses graphic and violent scenes to really set his image of how nasty vampires can be. I would recommend this book to people who like a twist from the normal monster books, and those who enjoy a good action thriller.

Character Analysis

The protagonist in the book Salem’s lot is Ben Mears. He has dark hair and is quite tall. He lived in Salem’s lot for a little while when he was younger, with his aunt Cindy. He lived with his aunt because his dad had passed away and his mom had a meltdown. Ben Mears grew up to be a writer who is moderately well known for his works, one includes Air Dance. When he grew up he had an obsession of the Marsten house and its spooky mysterious nature. The Marsten house would later on be the focus of his writing because of old peculiar stories he would hear about the house and its contents, as well as his own personal experience. As an adult he is an active citizen, who has participated in multiple peace motions and protests. His do good attitude and sense of righteousness really set him aside from most others in the story. When he was younger he was challenged to go into the spooky and mysterious Marsten house by some neighborhood boys. When he went in he saw the ghost of Hubert Marsten and that image stuck in his memory and haunted him for years. He is inspired to return to Salem’s lot as an adult because of his memory of the Marsten house from his childhood. Ben Mears wasn't always that successful, he faced many conflicts in his life, a good example of that is when he loses his wife Miranda in a motorcycle accident; however, he managed to survive without any serious injuries. How he reacts to this really says a lot about him. After the accident he was sad, but when he returns to Salem he meets someone and shows he is ready to move on. He is also faced with opposition when he has to drive a wooden stake into Susan Nortons heart, the person who he loved after his wife passed away. This shows how much stronger Ben grew as a character, he faces two of his fears, vampires in the marsten house and killing Susan.

literary elements: characterization and setting

Stephan kings use of the literary elements setting and characterization helped progress and further describe the story. His use of setting helped me to visualized and understand the scenes where the action was happening. Like when he was describing the marsten house he described it to be a mysterious house, and based on Ben’s memory it surely was. I took his described scenery and left it to my mind to image what it may have looked like, also how and where the events were happening. Stephan king’s s use of characterization allowed me to get to know the characters and their strengths and weaknesses, which would determine their effect and result in the story. For example the way he characterized Ben Mears, he gave him the personality to fit his righteous actions in attempt to purify Salem. Stephan king did an excellent job with his use of literary elements throughout the story to enhance the plot and progress it into a thrilling, horrifying, yet exciting vampire tale.

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