Salem's Lot

Summer Reading Smore

Character Analysis: Ben Mears

Ben Mears who is the protagonist of the story is described as a middle aged man with messy black hair. He is a somewhat successful author and is returning to Jerusalem's Lot to write a new book. Ben has a shaky past as his wife was killed in a motorcycle incident. He sometimes has flashbacks to his wife's death. Ben has history in Jerusalem's Lot because after his parents died he lived with his aunt there. While in Jerusalem's Lot Ben plans to write his new book about the Marsten house. He had a terrifying child experience there where he thought he saw the ghost of Hubie Marsten. Since Ben had this experience when vampires are suggested he believes it could be possible.
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Plot Development: Setting

One of the literary elements from the story that can be used to advance the plot is setting. The town of Jerusalem's Lot is a small isolated town in Maine. This is one of those towns where people who live there live boring normal lives. This is a factor in the story because a thing like vampires would be a crazy thought to most of the residents in the town. Also since this town is isolated news does not travel fast. Having something like vampires in a town like this would not get around because of the town's disconnection from the outside world. People also would not tell other people about it because they would sound crazy.

Plot Development: Theme

One of the themes in Salem's Lot would be belief. This decides whether or not characters survive. The characters that believe in the vampires will survive while the ones who don't believe meet their demise. A character like Mark Petrie, who has monster toys and knows a lot about horror movies would be an example. Since he knows so much about monsters he knows how to protect himself against vampires. When Danny Glick and Susan Norton each go to Mark's Window, Mark knows that a vampire can only enter when they are invited in. He also knew Danny was trying to control his mind so he knew to fight it. Because Ben had the experience in the Marsten house, he too believed in the vampires. This helped to his survival.


Salem's Lot was a suspenseful horror story that kept me turning pages. It was a little slow to start but this was necessary because Stephen King does a fantastic job of setting up the characters and the plot. It is a slow build but once you get there it is all worth it. The action picks up along with the suspense. The clues that King left in the beginning all come back. Usually when an author has so many important characters, there is not enough told about there back story. King delivers on all the characters giving readers a vivid picture in their minds. I would very much recommend this book to young adults looking for a suspenseful/horror story.