Warning: Function split() is deprecated in ..../includes/class_bootstrap.php(561) : eval()'d code on line 1
You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Linoge

This message board is only an archive. Click here to go to the current message board.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Linoge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    40

    Default You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Linoge

    All interested:

    Stephen King understands plot and narrative, and it's for this reason all of his tales are typically capped with a satisfying denouement. While the final sentence may not be the end of the story (any more than the first sentence is the actual beginning of the story) because there's a strong resolution all is well that ends well. That is, before the final page is turned, the antagonist is effectively and terminally dealt with by the protagonist; because this is King we're yakkin' about, it's usually in some macabre but reasonably heroic manner. The horripilations he tosses in for free - he's that kind of guy.

    This brings me to the curious ending of 'Storm of the Century'. At the risk of inadvertently presenting a spoiler of two (my apologies in advance), I'll sum things up this way: The epilogue is narrated by protagonist Michael Anderson. He mentions his departure from the island of Little Tall, but what he's really announcing is that he's leaving behind the entire way of life he once knew. The form of his departure is loosely akin to Odysseus' departure from the siege of Troy: his smoldering righteous wrath is the spur to a long, strange journey of self discovery - as yet untold - that'll ultimately bring him full round to the final confrontation. As the epilogue goes on to mention, Anderson is, at one point on this journey, working as a Federal Marshal in San Francisco, bringing about some small measure of justice in wake of a terrible injustice that's Biblical in scale. Anderson also mentions other residents of Little Tall are, predictably and pointedly, not so lucky: depression, suicide, alcoholism and other insidious forms of soul-crushing self-destruction (moral cancers all) have become increasingly common. However, the story is not over, and the antagonist Andre Linoge is certainly not finished with Anderson. Years after the events on Little Tall, Anderson is loading groceries into his car when an old man and a teenage boy walk by, humming Linoge's favorite tune. The boy looks strangely familiar to Anderson, and with a sudden searing realization, Anderson recognizes the boy is his lost son Ralph. Unfortunately, Ralph has now become Linoge's accolyte and perhaps thrall. Predictably, Anderson gives chase, but they are already gone. The tale ends with Michael considering contacting his former wife (Molly) and telling her what he's just witnessed. He decides against it, however. His final thoughts on this latest incident reveal something of his thinking regarding the whole sorry chapter of events that unfolded on Little Tall: sometimes he thinks he made the wrong decision, "but in daylight, [he knows] better."

    So... what to make of this?

    I've believe King knew the sort of story he wanted to tell and was very careful (if not downright clever) in setting up the overarching theme. The first hint of this can be found in the names of the two central characters: Michael Anderson and Andre Linoge.

    Michael, of course, is derived from the Hebrew name 'Micha'el'; roughly translated, the name is a question: 'Who is like God?' The answer, of course, is 'the good man'. Anderson is loosely derived from the Greek term 'andros' (man) and, therefore, Anderson literally means 'the son of man'. Great name for a hero, I think, though it's been used before.

    In comparison there's the villain's pseudonym "Andre Linoge", the name the bad guy has chosen to suit a particular purpose, and which differs from his unmentioned original or true name (called an orthonym). 'Andre' of course is another derivation of andros, but what to make of Linoge? As is revealed in the course of King's tale, Linoge is a weak anagram of Legion. In turn, it is quickly revealed Legion was a group of demons refered to in the Bible and, as we all ought to know, Jesus (another son of man and who many consider god like), was able to confront this supernatural bunch and toss 'em all out "into a herd of swine." Interestingly enough the Bible states that the demons asked Jesus to return them to Hell, but it is unknown if Jesus granted this request. The Bible does state, however, that the presumably possessed pigs swiftly ran into the Sea of Galilee and drowned themselves willynilly becoming fish food (and one can't help but wondered at what happened afterwards: if anyone who then ate of the fish that ate of the swine, did they come down with a Biblical-era case of Legionnaire's disease? Perhaps this explains what happened a few years later...). Certainly, the taint of Linoge persists on Little Tall, and there's no doubt (in my mind at least) that Anderson also remains effected by Linoge, but not defeated by Linoge.


    (...continued...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    (...continued...)

    What else to say about Linoge? Is he Randall Flagg? Maybe. Maybe not. King had admitted Flagg has been present since he first began his writing career, but only as an archetype or personification of evil, and not necessarily as an actual story-crossing character; one guy can only do so much and be in so many places, even if he's supernatural. But King does make another, perhaps even more important point about the nature of evil in all his tales: one cannot defeat or resist evil by becoming evil or even through passive acquiescence. There's a reason why things are falling apart on Little Tall; there's a reason why Michael Anderson hasn't put a bullet through his head. Linoge's claim of "Give me what I want and I shall go away," is a lie that Anderson immediately sees through while many others - generally folks who lack moral courage - continue to wish it to be true, and thus ensure their ultimate doom and failure.

    This brings me to the topic of Anderson's heroism. Stories of heroism often serve as moral example: who is the hero? It's the guy who does the right thing. In antiquity, the hero was venerated to the point of apotheosis: heroes became demigods; demigods gods. Anderson isn't a hero of the Randian or Byronic variety; he remains the classic good guy, even if he completely fails to rally the troops, kick ass and generally prevail over stacked odds. Anderson isn't a fantasy hero, rather he is the embodiment of the hero who's an ordinary man whose heroics are demonstrated at a time of extraordinary circumstances. He prevails not by saving the world or changing the course of a nation's affairs, but by simply remaining "good." The one good man who sets himself apart, and by the sacrifice of his life, redeems the whole of humanity through demonstration of spiritual strength and principle.

    Some posters have suggested 'Storm of the Century' is akin to the Bible's Book of Job, and folks can decide for themselves the relative merits of the arguments being made. Myself, I tend to disagree: I believe the themes, intentions and moral messages of the stories are quite different from one another. But there is something I do agree with and what many others who've read (or watched) this story have stated: it's not finished yet. Not properly at least.

    I read with interest that King is returning to 'The Shining' and giving readers an update on the Torrence family. This is appreciated, much like 'Black House' was a pleasant postcard from Jack Sawyer. But, truth be told, Danny and Jack ain't got nothing on Michael. In fact, in my mind, even the gunslinger Roland comes off less than prepared when compared to Michael. The only other character (in any of King's books, at least) that does compare favorably is Ben Mears, the protagonist of 'Salem's Lot'. He, too, comes off as a guy who'll end up doing the right thing. While King may enjoy writing about morally strong characters who are essentially hapless, but not necessarily helpless, in the face of evil (we all write what we know about, right?) there's much to be said in favor of allowing the true heros to rise to their calling and giving them the opportunity to reckon accounts, if not kick some well-deserved evil butt.

    This I honestly hope King does one day. I hope this very much. And so I say... errr, write... you can't keep a good man down.

    Hope you all enjoy reading this!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    P.S.: Sorry about the numerous typos, friends and neighbours. One day I'll figure out typing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,926

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Excellent first post(s), Amphiaraus! I assume you have some experience as an essayist? You make some very interesting points in your analysis. Hope the length doesn't scare anyone away, to those wondering, it is worth reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphiaraus View Post
    The Bible does state, however, that the presumably possessed pigs swiftly ran into the Sea of Galilee and drowned themselves willynilly becoming fish food (and one can't help but wondered at what happened afterwards: if anyone who then ate of the fish that ate of the swine, did they come down with a Biblical-era case of Legionnaire's disease? Perhaps this explains what happened a few years later...)
    ...and I like your sense of humor, too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Posts
    841

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Excellent post, and what I'll say about it is this: if old Roland was looking for a new Gunslinger or two, he could certainly have done a lot worse than find himself standing in front of a door that said "MIKE ANDERSON" on it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    northern wisconsin
    Posts
    850

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Well said!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Posts
    17,667

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    ....certainly a post worth sinkin' yer eyeballs into...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging words. 'Storm of the Century' remains (for me, at least) King's most enigmatic piece of imagination. I've not read the screenplay in years however, but I do remember making notes on it as I went through it. Sooner or later I'll pull that sucker out of storage, and happily share a few more "highly subjective deconstructive ruminations" on what it is King set out to produce, and what was actually was produced (as if I know the difference!). Chances are I'll be laughably wrong (not an uncommon occurence): Like Dr. Freud quipped, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and not a psychological analogue for a well-endowed dolphin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Mike was like Lot, the only righteous man, and so Little Tall Island burned in it's own guilt, so to speak. I still think he made mistakes himself, skipping over the application of the ritual of the casting out of demons that the scripture about Legion entails... he went in unprepared, still thinking in terms of 'our will', almost a reliance on his own morality... Trusting in God only as much as we trust in ourselves/each other. A lack of faith dogging him "there's just something about you that pisses me off..." So, when Linoge's will proved stronger than his own, Anderson did what anyone who's been missing the point in not doing it by your own might. He threw his fists around and was subdued by 'the strongman'.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    south
    Posts
    4,200

    Default Re: You can't keep a good man down: Why Michael Anderson will triumph over Ander Lino

    Thanks love this post.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Any Good?
    By casstess146 in forum Black House
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: October 14th, 2013, 04:18 PM
  2. Is it a Good Read?
    By Cell1408 in forum Under The Dome
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: September 2nd, 2013, 02:59 PM
  3. The movie...good or bad?
    By baylorbear2008 in forum Cujo
    Replies: 76
    Last Post: March 19th, 2013, 02:22 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •