Salem's Lot

Stephen King

Character Analysis

Ben Mears: Ben Mears is the protagonist in Salem's Lot, he is an author who is visiting his childhood town while writing a novel about the Marsten House, an abandoned house that is in the small town. The Marsten House was the cause of a scarring experience when he was a kid and he went into the house on a dare. The experience in the house caused Ben to become obsessed with the house and he believes that writing about the house will somehow help him get passed the childhood experience.


The story is set in a small town in Maine called Jerusalem's Lot or "Salem's Lot" in the summer and fall of 1970. It is a community where there is rarely any controversy and when a new person enters the town there is a suspicion about them and rumors spread. Ben is constantly talked about among the locals as well as the new antique shop owners are. Despite the suspicion the locals have for the new residents, once strange things begin to happen, like the sudden disappearance of a child and the death of his brother, the people of Salem's Lot are blind to what is actually going on until it is too late. A vampire is killing many of the people in the town and it is spreading.


Imagery is used by the author to give the reader a sense of the mood that Ben feels while he is in the presence of the Marsten House. Throughout the story Ben stares at the house where he had a scarring childhood experience. The house gives everyone in the town and the reader an eerie feel when it is described, it is like a symbol of evil that looks over the town to remind the people of the town of what once happened there many years ago. The house scared grown men away without a logical reason. The description of the house sets the tone for the entire story.
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Salem's Lot had a plot that made me want to keep reading, the story was suspenseful and was interesting throughout the book. The characters are realistic and they change throughout the book. Stephen King makes it easy to visualize the scenes. It is a long book and some things feel drawn out and unimportant to the story but in general most of the information is key to the plot. Overall this is a great story that is very well written, and keeps the reader engaged the entire time.