Questions to The Long Walk.
OK, so I got this idea (inspired by my classmate corresponding with prof. Philip Zimbardo) and wrote a whole letter to Mr. King only to find out there is no way of reaching him other than this message board. But, since I already wrote it and meant every single word of it, I decided to give it a try and pour myself out in public, still in vain hope that in a million years this letter will reach Mr King and I will get my answers ;). So, here goes...
Dear Mr. King,
let me begin my letter by saying that I am a huge fan of your writing. I suppose you never hear the end of this, but at the same time I hope it still gives you pleasure when people appreciate your work. I know I would, so please let me say that indeed, I appreciate it very much.
I must admit — and I know that in the light of what I just wrote it will probably sound ridiculous — that I am not a fan of horrors (though I dislike horror movies more than books). Nonetheless, your masterpieces such as Carrie or Salem’s Lot, as well as many short stories that I have read, were so gripping and utterly amazing, that I didn’t care in the least what genre they were.
Still, my favorite stories of yours are the dramas — The Green Mile and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which may have to do with the fact that I am studying social rehabilitation and so people’s perception of the prison life (as well as the prison life itself) fascinates me.
The main reason that I write to you is that I am also studying English literature and I am currently writing a research paper which is partially concerned with your novel, The Long Walk. My intention is to compare and contrast The Long Walk with Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. What gave me the idea for this topic was your own review of The Hunger Games for Entertainment Weekly. Obviously, for this work I have some (or rather quite a lot of) ideas of my own, but what really interests me (it actually drives me crazy) are your thoughts on the subject. Do you see any other significant similarities between these three books except for the employment of “TV badlands”? Would you say that the fact that the participants in The Long Walk do not kill each other directly (but it’s the soldiers who do that instead) makes the book differ significantly from the other two and what bearing on the interpretation, if any, could it have for you? Do you think that Battle Royale and The Hunger Games are just “rip-offs,” or would you lean towards a suggestion that they employ a common motif to a different effect?
I also have always wondered about The Long Walk itself. I realize that writing your books you put in them as much information as you deem appropriate, but if you could shed some light on The Long Walk for me, I would be eternally grateful. Reading the story (which I’ve done at least a dozen times) I always wonder what had happened to the world you created there that made it as it is — what made the people in there accept the Major as their leader (and is it a gross over interpretation to see him as a perverted version of the Old Major in the Animal Farm)? For you, is the book more about a dystopian society or about the influence of media on our world?
Knowing that you are an extremely busy man and that at the moment there are probably dozens of people writing their dissertations about you and asking you questions, I do not really expect you to answer this letter. Nonetheless, if you’d ever be interested in responding, I believe it would probably my biggest academic achievement ever :).
To finish, let me thank you for what you have done as an author, because your works gave me countless hours of entertainment (as well as a topic for numerous essays and research papers) and brought me true joy (even though I still resent your “killing” John Coffey). I hope and wish you and your family the best in life and remain your devoted fan,
Re: Questions to The Long Walk.
....and please provide your answers in the form of a question....