Does IT bring benefits?

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johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
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Here's a messed-up idea: Does IT bring benefits to Derry along with periodic times of child disappearance/murder? IT is a supernatural predator. Does IT do something that wards other supernatural predators off from Derry, ITs chosen hunting grounds? Like because IT is there, Derry doesn't suffer attacks from werewolves, vampires, etc because IT drives them off, sort of like a farmer would protect the chickens he fries for dinner and whose eggs he takes.

Another thought, does IT provide some base level of prosperity to Derry to make sure it remains viable as a town even during times of economic downturn? If so, are there people in town aware of IT who collude with IT to keep the benefits IT provides, perhaps calculating that the occasional loss of a few kids ever so often is a low price to pay for a guarantee of safety and prosperity?
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
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Interesting idea. It would make sense for sure, unless IT could move to other locations once the feeding station finally collapsed.

IT probably could move if IT needed to, but IT probably doesn't want or like to move. The reason humans stopped being hunter-gatherers was that agriculture, farming plants and animals while building more permanent settlements, was easier and more rewarding than a nomadic existence. Figure IT is the same way.

While supernatural evil is fun in its way, human choices and human evil is more interesting to me. Like, fine, there's a vampire, but the vampire's human servant, who turns on his fellow humans and helps feed them to the monster is more interesting to me in a why would you do that kind of way.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
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...I don't expect I would be enticed if IT was a "friend with benefits" type of arrangement.....

Doesn't that rather depend on the benefits? Suppose you're a young father dying of a rare, incurable disease. Wouldn't you give almost anything to get to provide for your children, live to see them grow up? Perhaps even if "anything" includes other children never getting to grow up?
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Here's a messed-up idea: Does IT bring benefits to Derry along with periodic times of child disappearance/murder? IT is a supernatural predator. Does IT do something that wards other supernatural predators off from Derry, ITs chosen hunting grounds? Like because IT is there, Derry doesn't suffer attacks from werewolves, vampires, etc because IT drives them off, sort of like a farmer would protect the chickens he fries for dinner and whose eggs he takes.

I don't think It has to do anything to ward off other supernatural terrors. It is the "Big Bad" and its mark is on the whole town. Just like T-Rex urine scares away the smaller predators in Jurassic Park, I suspect the same is true in Derry. As to prosperity, yes the monster makes sure that there is always a certain level of wealth in town. It husbands its favored game preserve. This is explicit in the book. The Mall is merely one example. And most of the places heavily touched by It either as fake prosperity or one of its boltholes, are destroyed with the creature.

Another thought, does IT provide some base level of prosperity to Derry to make sure it remains viable as a town even during times of economic downturn? If so, are there people in town aware of IT who collude with IT to keep the benefits IT provides, perhaps calculating that the occasional loss of a few kids ever so often is a low price to pay for a guarantee of safety and prosperity?

Without a doubt there are people who know something isn't right with Derry. Another poster said that It could probably move if it needed to do so. I'm not 100% sure about that. I think the Thinny is below Derry where it first broke through and arrives. It is still connected to the Deadlights by what amounts to an invisible tendril. Derry is where it comes through. Moving would take a new Thinny I think and who knows how long.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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Doesn't that rather depend on the benefits? Suppose you're a young father dying of a rare, incurable disease. Wouldn't you give almost anything to get to provide for your children, live to see them grow up? Perhaps even if "anything" includes other children never getting to grow up?
...No, I would have them already provided for and let the dark take me.....no one elses' children should die so that mine might live....that's as horrendous as IT itself....
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
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...No, I would have them already provided for and let the dark take me.....no one elses' children should die so that mine might live....that's as horrendous as IT itself....

Which is exactly why it's an interesting avenue of discussion/exploration. I'm a pretty avid RPG player and one of my favorite RPGs is called TORG. In the "horror" supplement to the game there's a short story called "Mr. Ho Find a Horror." The story tracks Mr. Ho, a minion of evil as he walks around Hong Kong. Ho notices a distraught man and follows him to a disheveled home where a sick child await the man. Ho gets out a notebook and writes down an idea. "Man has sick child. What if man was given a magic syringe that could give the child needed doses of medicine. To fill syringe, man must kill other and fill it with their blood." Mr. Ho closes the book and story musing about the terror that will soon begin in the neighborhood as people begin to get murdered to fill the syringe.

Sort of like the program "Breaking Bad" where cancer and the need for money caused Walter White to walk down the road of corruption, what incentives might IT offer to seduce other people into, well, breaking bad?
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Sort of like the program "Breaking Bad" where cancer and the need for money caused Walter White to walk down the road of corruption, what incentives might IT offer to seduce other people into, well, breaking bad?

Therein lies the rub; It doesn't care about people enough to try to seduce them into anything. People are food, insects, and diversions at best. We are talking about a cosmic entity here and the scale between us an It (at least in the monster's eyes) is so different that such thing simply would be unimportant. The kind of people who "could" be seduced are already open to being possessed as dogsbodies.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
966
Therein lies the rub; It doesn't care about people enough to try to seduce them into anything. People are food, insects, and diversions at best. We are talking about a cosmic entity here and the scale between us an It (at least in the monster's eyes) is so different that such thing simply would be unimportant. The kind of people who "could" be seduced are already open to being possessed as dogsbodies.

Except we know that in the movie, at least, IT took the trouble to seduce Henry into killing his father and going after the Losers.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Except we know that in the movie, at least, IT took the trouble to seduce Henry into killing his father and going after the Losers.

That is a bit of a reach though. :) It didn't seduce Henry. It simply gave him a knife, because It knew what Henry would do with it. Seduction infers offers and cajoling. The monster often uses people to clean up after itself. It put Henry in motion in the book too, but was clearly planning on killing the lot. It doesn't seduce people. It doesn't corrupt people. It simply uses the people who are already foul.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
966
That is a bit of a reach though. :) It didn't seduce Henry. It simply gave him a knife, because It knew what Henry would do with it. Seduction infers offers and cajoling. The monster often uses people to clean up after itself. It put Henry in motion in the book too, but was clearly planning on killing the lot. It doesn't seduce people. It doesn't corrupt people. It simply uses the people who are already foul.

IT didn't just give Henry a knife. IT gave Henry back the knife he'd lost earlier. And there seemed to be a certain amount of cajoling through the TV set right before Henry killed his father. To me IT seems to work to make good people bad (or at least passive and disengaged) and bad people worse. While IT is apparently only physically active for a short while every 27 years, I have to wonder what IT does in ITs resting state. I wonder if Eddie mom watched TV featuring all kinds of doctor's warnings and offers of medication. Perhaps Beverly's father got a channel that offer a particular kind of pornography...
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
IT didn't just give Henry a knife. IT gave Henry back the knife he'd lost earlier. And there seemed to be a certain amount of cajoling through the TV set right before Henry killed his father. To me IT seems to work to make good people bad (or at least passive and disengaged) and bad people worse. While IT is apparently only physically active for a short while every 27 years, I have to wonder what IT does in ITs resting state. I wonder if Eddie mom watched TV featuring all kinds of doctor's warnings and offers of medication. Perhaps Beverly's father got a channel that offer a particular kind of pornography...

Actually, in the book it gave him a different kind of knife than the one he lost. We don't see any examples of It making a good person bad. We only see it working through bad people. Henry was garbage, damaged goods so to speak, long before It woke back up. It is too easy, a scapegoating I think, to try and attribute all the bad in people to the monster sleeping under Derry. The monster fills the empty places. It doesn't create them.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
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Actually, in the book it gave him a different kind of knife than the one he lost. We don't see any examples of It making a good person bad. We only see it working through bad people. Henry was garbage, damaged goods so to speak, long before It woke back up. It is too easy, a scapegoating I think, to try and attribute all the bad in people to the monster sleeping under Derry. The monster fills the empty places. It doesn't create them.

No, the monster doesn't create the bad. But I think IT has deliberately fostered an environment in Derry where the bad can flourish and take root, while the good tends to be more stunted. While IT doesn't turn people bad or good, IT's probably happy to give people that last little push to send them over their personal edges. Also, while IT might on some level be a "cosmic horror," unlike Cthulhu and other Lovecraftian beings, IT is far from indifferent. IT's instead very interested and involved in cultivating Derry as ITs feeding ground. And IT will take actions to... incentivize the behavior that IT believes is useful to IT. We see that right toward the end as IT attempt to bargain with the Losers to get them to trade Bill's life for their own safety. IT probably would have kept that bargain, as well, knowing that moment of weakness and cowardice would poison their lives from that point forward and help make them into "good" citizens of Derry.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
No, the monster doesn't create the bad. But I think IT has deliberately fostered an environment in Derry where the bad can flourish and take root, while the good tends to be more stunted. While IT doesn't turn people bad or good, IT's probably happy to give people that last little push to send them over their personal edges. Also, while IT might on some level be a "cosmic horror," unlike Cthulhu and other Lovecraftian beings, IT is far from indifferent. IT's instead very interested and involved in cultivating Derry as ITs feeding ground. And IT will take actions to... incentivize the behavior that IT believes is useful to IT. We see that right toward the end as IT attempt to bargain with the Losers to get them to trade Bill's life for their own safety. IT probably would have kept that bargain, as well, knowing that moment of weakness and cowardice would poison their lives from that point forward and help make them into "good" citizens of Derry.

I think we need to clarify whether we are talking about the film or book. I cannot speak with any great knowledge on the film's mythology yet because only so much has been shown. In regards to the book, I think it is pretty clear that while It maintains its personal killing ground, the personal damnation and corruption of the people in isn't really of much interest to it. They are food. They are toys. It really has no fear of them, nor any real reason to manipulate them beyond immediate gratification. It clearly can ride some weak, bad people as dogsbodies. It clearly has the power to manipulate if it wants to do so, or even cloud the perceptions of an entire town. The key thing is that in the books, it only does such things when you get its attention. We are out of sight, out of mind, almost immediately to such an entity. It is LAZY. I've said this before and I will say it again a thousand times over. The creature that dwelt under Derry won't even chase a child beyond a certain distance without losing interest. Any kid that slips its clutches could be relentlessly tracked and killed with zero chance of escape. The powers at the creatures fingertips are vast. In theory it could force certain, bad folks to bring their children to the canal and toss them into its waiting arms. It doesn't though. It falls to us to puzzle out the creature's limitations from what it doesn't do based on the obvious motivations of what it can do. Do you see where I'm going with this?

The film's alternate mythology isn't clear yet. Thus, we can only theorize using the book, or until the sequel gives us more to go on in regards to the newest film incarnation of Pennywise. Going by the book, we know the monster is a cosmic entity. It does, in fact, believe itself to be only one of two such beings. It believes only the turtle to be in its own class so to speak. We get a look directly into the monster's mind. You don't get a clearer window to motivation and belief. The monster has lived its entire lifetime eating and sleeping and sound in its immortality and that people are food. The Losers strike it as something new. In short, the creature is so vast that people are ants to it. It assigns no significance to one over the other. It may "seem" personal and involved because its method of "cooking" dinner involves fear, but those details aren't really important to the monster. The notion that such an entity spends its time sweating the little things is kind of counter intuitive. It isn't involved in personal damnation or corruption. We see the odd cruelty, certainly. It enjoys scaring people or simply being mean for mean's sake. We see ample evidence of this when it pretends to be a dead daughter down in the pipes for an old gas station attendant. It wasn't hunting. It wasn't trying to seduce. It was just having fun.

I agree that the creature clearly sustains Derry as a town to make sure people remain there. I agree that the creature, if you get its attention or it has a reason, meddles in events. But by in large, such things are far beneath it. It is apathetic to whether or not a person is good or bad. People are food and it will eat a Hockstetter with the same motivation as a Hanlon. I want to point out that Patrick Hockstetter worshiped death. He even had his own little alter in the junkyard, his killing fridge. Do you know how easy it would have been for the monster to seduce or corrupt Patrick Hockstetter into bringing It treats, doing its bidding, and all that jazz? The monster doesn't do that because it could care less. Good or bad, people are just food and playthings. It uses them when its attention is drawn, but for the most part gives us no more real attention than I do ants I walk past or over.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
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For my part, I'm focusing on the movie, since this is thread for the movie. That said, it's almost impossible not to bring in stuff from the book. That said again, while we don't know what IT thinks in the movie, we can see some of what IT does and what IT has done in the past. IT does seemed to relate to people. IT does make bargains (Derry itself was founded on one such bargain). Granted that any conclusions we draw from part one of a two part movie series will be flawed, we can draw a few conclusions to what we've already seen IT do.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
For my part, I'm focusing on the movie, since this is thread for the movie. That said, it's almost impossible not to bring in stuff from the book. That said again, while we don't know what IT thinks in the movie, we can see some of what IT does and what IT has done in the past. IT does seemed to relate to people. IT does make bargains (Derry itself was founded on one such bargain). Granted that any conclusions we draw from part one of a two part movie series will be flawed, we can draw a few conclusions to what we've already seen IT do.

Confining this discussion entirely to the movie, I still don't see any evidence that the clown actively tempts and corrupts people. It certainly isn't the mission. I suppose it might be happening as a side effect. The film is hard to get a bead on because we only see the world of children. The only adults we see are cast in a somewhat frightening and at the very least unwholesome light. I also think there is a danger of trying to scapegoat the clown as the source of evil. I don't think that is the message of the book, and I don't think the film indicates that either. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I don't believe for one second that the film clown was going to honor that bargain he offered to the kids, i.e. he takes Bill and they get to live. He had already tried to kill them, separate them, and several other tricks besides. I saw the offer as just one more stalling attempt to break the pact between them. If they had accepted and started to flee, it would have killed Bill (or made him catatonic as he had Bev) and killed them all on the run. Remember that is how it likes its food. It doesn't want to be fed. It wants to hunt. That fake offer would have sent the rest of them running, accepting it had beaten them, to die one by one trying to get out of the sewer. These observations are based entirely on the movie, not the book.

2. The film clown spends its time hunting. We do not see any evidence it is out corrupting people. The nearest thing we see to that is the knife it gives Bowers. It isn't a deal offered. It is just more fun and games. There are plenty of people it could target that need corruption or promises. Bowers is already a dog turd. :) You can't corrupt what is already foul.

There are two types of evil (King talks about them in Danse Macabre). They are "inside evil" and "outside evil" and they are very different. The clown embodies outside evil, i.e. some alien, monstrous force which sows chaos and destroys. Inside evils is that which we do ourselves, driven by our own choices. It is definitely the worst of the two, because we KNOW BETTER. I am always hesitant to try and let any of the bad behavior of people be pawned off on the clown. The devil made me do it is a poor excuse. The clown makes use of such people, but he doesn't not create such people.
 

johntfs

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Nov 18, 2008
277
966
We do not see any evidence it is out corrupting people.

I think we do, but it's subtle. If you notice, the weird program with the lady and the kids is on several televisions in the movie. It's always well in the background (except for the bit with Henry) but it's there. That said, IT, like the Devil, doesn't make anyone do anything. IT tends to try to tempt those predisposed to go along with IT (when it does tempt), like Henry, but they still have free will - as does everyone else in the town.

As for the kids and IT's bargain, it's likely that you're right, but still possible that I was. Essentially IT was offering them the same choice IT offered the woman at the well at the founding of the town. Having given into IT the Losers would likely have been forever vulnerable to IT even as adults.