GROUP DISCUSSION #3 - “Suffer the Little Children”

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AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
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Hi, all! Tonight we discuss the 1970s short story, “Suffer the Little Children,” which was going to be in Night Shift but was dropped for “Gray Matter” (an inferior story, IMO).

I like this one. Hell, I love it. I think. It’s dark as hell, and has no redeeming value, but that’s why I’m such a fan.

This is the second story in this collection to feature a grade school teacher. I wonder if there will be any others?

The obvious question: do you think the children are really literal monsters, or is the teacher crazy? Personally, I like to think they’re actual monsters that only she can see. :D
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
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United States
Hi, all! Tonight we discuss the 1970s short story, “Suffer the Little Children,” which was going to be in Night Shift but was dropped for “Gray Matter” (an inferior story, IMO).

I like this one. Hell, I love it. I think. It’s dark as hell, and has no redeeming value, but that’s why I’m such a fan.

This is the second story in this collection to feature a grade school teacher. I wonder if there will be any others?

The obvious question: do you think the children are really literal monsters, or is the teacher crazy? Personally, I like to think they’re actual monsters that only she can see. :D
The brilliance of this story is its ambiguity, yes. Every time I read it I change my mind on what I think is actually happening. It's a fun story.

(Off topic, Cody, but seeing how well you write and comport yourself gives me hope for your generation. Your posts are never muddled and it's nice to see a young person who places importance on writing, grammar, spelling, et cetera.)
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
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Just north of Duma Key
I usually think of stories about pod people/body snatchers as a sci-fi theme. I liked the theme treated as a horror story. Did y'all think the children were possessed by aliens or demons or something else?
As Doc Creed and do1you9love? added--- having a stressful teaching day, a teacher could easily "imagine" them as monsters. However, the "feel" within the story leans me towards real monsters.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
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United States
I usually think of stories about pod people/body snatchers as a sci-fi theme. I liked the theme treated as a horror story. Did y'all think the children were possessed by aliens or demons or something else?
On occasion, I've read it and considered the teacher (Mrs. Sidley?) schizophrenic or mentally ill which is a more tragic interpretation, I think.