longevity *SPOILERS*

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charlotte98

Active Member
Jun 12, 2011
43
17
Wichita falls
#1
Allright, so Paul and Mr. Jingles were bestowed unnaturally long life because of John Coffey healing them. Why didn't Melinda Moores? She was healed by John Coffey and died of a heart attack, I believe.

Also, has the idea of suicide never appealed to Paul? Is it sort of implied that Paul wouldn't be successful of a suicide attempt (the bus accident that claimed the life of his wife along with most of the other passengers comes to mind)?
Paul was a Christian, so perhaps it was just wrong according to his beliefs. Would it be possible for Paul to kill himself, had he the inclination? If so, how? Would he have to pick a particular way to die, and would he be immune to others?

What about Paul's healing was different from Coffey's healing of the others? I remember before his execution he touched him and gave him some kind of ability to read minds and he felt like he had something special in him. But the effects wore off. Was John Coffey transferring his abilities to Paul? If so, why wasn't Paul capable of healing others? If Paul isn't capable of death (not for a LONG time, at any rate), how was Coffey, the source of all the "magic" for lack of a better word, able to die in the electric chair?

I'm left with a lot of questions about this book. Anyone have any ideas?
 

champ1966

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2011
4,008
10,834
52
Wakefield Yorkshire England
#2
), how was Coffey, the source of all the "magic" for lack of a better word, able to die in the electric chair?

I'm left with a lot of questions about this book. Anyone have any ideas?
Coffey was a Jesus Christ style character, dying for the sins of others. Hence SK changing his name to one with the initials JC. His death in the electric chair was portraying the crucifixion.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
308
1,001
46
#5
Allright, so Paul and Mr. Jingles were bestowed unnaturally long life because of John Coffey healing them. Why didn't Melinda Moores? She was healed by John Coffey and died of a heart attack, I believe.

I don't actually recall Melinda's death being mentioned. I'm sure you're right, and I don't know. It's a good thought. Paul says he wasn't ever even sick after that day, I think, so it seems Coffey's healing is kind of like a Teflon coating to the immune system. I don't know that that translates to complete immortality - actually I know it doesn't.Mr. Jingles died of old age - his body wearing out. Melinda's heart wore out, too.

Also, has the idea of suicide never appealed to Paul? Is it sort of implied that Paul wouldn't be successful of a suicide attempt (the bus accident that claimed the life of his wife along with most of the other passengers comes to mind)?
Paul was a Christian, so perhaps it was just wrong according to his beliefs. Would it be possible for Paul to kill himself, had he the inclination? If so, how? Would he have to pick a particular way to die, and would he be immune to others?

Sure, he could kill himself. I think he got over his wife's death and lived plenty more happy life after that. It is only after his "friend" Elaine dies that he wishes for death. And that is maybe just that temporary (sometimes long, but temporary) depression we all go through after a loved one dies. It was a fresh loss, remember.

What about Paul's healing was different from Coffey's healing of the others? I remember before his execution he touched him and gave him some kind of ability to read minds and he felt like he had something special in him. But the effects wore off. Was John Coffey transferring his abilities to Paul? If so, why wasn't Paul capable of healing others? If Paul isn't capable of death (not for a LONG time, at any rate), how was Coffey, the source of all the "magic" for lack of a better word, able to die in the electric chair?

I'll agree with Champ, too, that Coffee was unique. He couldn't give his power away. He was a healer, and not immortal himself. There was absolutely no evidence that he was, only that he could impart healing. Paul's healing was different because Coffee wasn't trying to heal anything; they were just holding hands and the power flowed naturally. I think he kind of "overdosed" Paul, and it was a different "thing" he received then, as well.

I'm left with a lot of questions about this book. Anyone have any ideas?
Was Paul's longevity due to that final session with Coffee? I don't think that was definitively established at all! I think it was due to the prior healing of his UTI. That's why Mr. Jingles lived so long, after all. What he got from Coffee at the end was, thankfully, temporary. Otherwise, I think it would have quickly driven Paul insane.
 

César Hernández-Meraz

Wants to be Nick, ends up as Larry
May 19, 2015
572
4,158
38
Aguascalientes, Mexico
#6
Was Paul's longevity due to that final session with Coffee? I don't think that was definitively established at all! I think it was due to the prior healing of his UTI. That's why Mr. Jingles lived so long, after all. What he got from Coffee at the end was, thankfully, temporary. Otherwise, I think it would have quickly driven Paul insane.
Their two cases are different. The body of Mr. Jingles was practically destroyed; he was close to dying. A lot of JC had to go into that healing, with a lot of reconstruction, as well. The other case was simpler. If any healing caused longevity, and if JC (or anyone who came before him) healed more people during his life, there would be other people with little aging.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
308
1,001
46
#7
Their two cases are different. The body of Mr. Jingles was practically destroyed; he was close to dying. A lot of JC had to go into that healing, with a lot of reconstruction, as well. The other case was simpler. If any healing caused longevity, and if JC (or anyone who came before him) healed more people during his life, there would be other people with little aging.
I don't think the idea of simple vs. complicated healing is supported by the text. Coffey was tired after each healing, not just the life/death ones. And there's not really enough healings to compare. Just Paul, Mr. Jingles, and Melinda.

I think it's obvious that Coffey had healed before. He knew he could do it when he did it to Paul. And he tried with the two dead girls.

And finally, Paul didn't have "little aging." He aged like his peers, with the caveat that at over 100, he looked 85. Lots of people are like that.
 
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