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On Harold Lauder

Discussion in 'The Stand' started by Lee9900, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. melindaville

    melindaville Well-Known Member

    Ah, but that's not a chocolate Payday. You posted the *good* kind. Chocolate Paydays are an abomination.
     
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  2. Doc Creed

    Doc Creed Well-Known Member

    I know I did.
    I even pitied him when he took his own life. Yet, it is chilling when a week before he says into the walkie-talkie (and I'm paraphrasing), "This is Harold E. Lauder and I do this of my own accord with a sound mind..." It was a despicable act that took the lives of several Free Zoners. Harold allowed his hurt to turn to blinding hatred.
     
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  3. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...allow me to correct my error....
    [​IMG]
     
  4. melindaville

    melindaville Well-Known Member

    Aha! Are they really still churning out those horrid bars? I mean--buy a Snickers if you want a good, chocolate, caramely candy bar but if you buy a Pay Day, you must be a purist! :)
     
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  5. César Hernández-Meraz

    César Hernández-Meraz Wants to be Nick, ends up as Larry

    I love how the offer Nick got was so tempting, perhaps the most tempting of them all, and he still turned him down. If someone got dealt a bad hand, it was Nicky. And we see how, at quite a young age, he was made to see that it is himself, not fate, who will dictate what direction the rest of his life would take.

    I have never eaten (or even seen) one of those, but I kind of wanted to try them just because of this book. But since you say they are not good, and since I actually love Snickers (they are my favorite), I will listen to you and stick to Snickers.
     
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  6. melindaville

    melindaville Well-Known Member

    César, you are a smart person! They are nowhere near as good as a Snickers. And the original salty-caramely Payday is nothing to fool around with (and HL is the reason I finally did eat one just because SK said they were wrong, I needed to know what they tasted like!). Hahahahaha.
     
  7. melindaville

    melindaville Well-Known Member

    I also want to comment about Nick. Nick was my favorite character from the beginning but I'm a sucker for people who have had hard battles in life and still come through the other side with compassion and empathy rather than bitterness and hatred. Nick was lucky in meeting Rudy--that long ago mentor--who taught him how to live with his deaf/muteness.

    Nick did have a bad deal through it all but more than anything, The Stand made me question how good we perceive life here and how much we don't know about the thereafter. People suffered so much in The Stand, of course through the original epidemic but there were so many tragedies in the book (people we loved died--and that's not easy for authors to pull off) that it made me rethink my entire philosophy of spirituality, goodness, quality vs. quantity of life and so much more. Mind you, I was a very impressionable 18 year old when The Stand was published but every time I read it, something new is revealed--something deeper--that I hadn't noticed before.

    I write (NOT like SK!!!) but sometimes I will read things I wrote and not remember writing it at all--it's weird. I wonder how many times SK has written scenes/chapters that he didn't remember until much later, when he reread that. That's the question I wanted to ask at the SB tour but I missed the question asking deadline (and there were probably tons of people with questions). Heck, the line around the church wound around 3 blocks--and that's only what I saw!
     
  8. raindance773

    raindance773 New Member

    Harold's actions are his to account for, but I really feel like he was given one of the worst starting points in the book, and while Nick's improves, Harold's lot never really changes. His wounds are deep, and have really affected his outlook on life. None of that is to excuse his actions, for they are wrong. However, I do think people are quick to write him off, and not place the fair share of blame on, say, Fran.
     
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  9. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ....Hiya and welcome!....I agree, to a point.....other's through their poor treatment of Harold helped shape some of his character, but he was also responsible for the lion's share....
     
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  10. Doc Creed

    Doc Creed Well-Known Member

    Nick is my favorite character from The Stand, too. I can relate to reading things I'd written at nineteen and not recognizing it, forgetting I'd even written it. That's a great question to ask him, by the way. :encouragement: He did say he couldn't remember the act of writing Cujo but that's a bit different than what you are saying, I think.
     
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  11. Randolph Carter

    Randolph Carter Active Member

    Good points, I agree. I just finished re-reading the Stand and struggled with the idea that Harold was destined to be evil by his upbringing.
    But there was a great few passages when Harold was working the burial crew in Boulder, in which he nearly decided to accept that people actually liked him and stop being so bitter. So he still had some choice. Still sad, but ultimately he had the opportunity to turn away from evil. Reminds me of a lot of people I know, who are so bitter they refuse to let the bitterness go even if that would make their life better.
     
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  12. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    I know a couple people like that, too.
     
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  13. raindance773

    raindance773 New Member

    He did. And he did make his choices too. But there is a very real second side to this whole story that can’t be written off, and that is Harold’s age. He is closer to Leo in age than most of the other characters, and even Fran is 4-5 years older than he is (feel free to correct if I’m wrong but I thought she was 21-22).

    Harold is 17, and because we never see him become 18, we can guess he’s a young 17. Couple that with his interaction with Nadine, and he was doomed from the start. While it may be reading a book from 1977 and 1988 with eyes of 2017, I see what Nadine does to Harold as repeatedly raping him. Yes, he is 17 and gets the adolescent male fantasy (sort of), but as numerous recent cases of female teachers sleeping with underage male students show us, this is still statuory rape, and I have a very real problem with it. I have an even bigger problem with it because Nadine was a teacher and that’s an almost sacred relationship we are taught to not break.

    So, between Harold’s ostracism in life before the plague, and his ostracism afterward, I struggle a lot with Harold. It bothers me how King treats him. It bothers me because I see so many young men like him in the school where I teach. It bothers me because if Nadine had been 17 and Harold 35, everyone would have been crying foul at the tops of our lungs (and rightfully so). But why not Harold? It bothers me because I don’t know if King would have treated a female the same way (though Carrie was close, but she got to strike back) and if we the readers would be so hostile to a female treated the same way.

    Harold was savable. Everyone else was too self absorbed to care and too worried about who they’d sleep with to notice, and that truly bothers me.
     
    GNTLGNT likes this.
  14. recitador

    recitador Speed Reader

    fran for what? not choosing him? just because he had some fantasy that she should be his girl doesn't obligate her to go along with it. for writing private thoughts in her diary that he had no business reading?

    society can't make up its mind when people should be adults. depending on when and where you've lived, it's anywhere from say 15 to 18, and even then america for example, takes it even further with stupid and arbitrary add ons like not drinking until 21 or being able to rent a car (i mean, wtf) until 25. the difference between 17 and 18 is completely arbitrary and imaginary, so to act as if someone who's 17 is getting predatorily raped when they're having consensual sex is stretching things far beyond reality. and before anyone tries to get it twisted, i'm not advocating for 30 year olds to go have a romp with 17 year olds, but seriously, the word rape being thrown around to describe consensual sex bugs the crap out of me. statutory rape can be a thing, but people graduate high school when they're 17, so please don't try to tell me they're just too young to make decisions for themselves. this is also not to say that teachers should be having sex with their students. should a teacher be fired and blackballed from any youth oriented profession for having consensual sex with their 17 year old student? absolutely. should they be a permanent sex offender? only if you're into the sex offender registry being meaningless bs.
     
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  15. Randolph Carter

    Randolph Carter Active Member

    good points, and I hadn't thought about the age issue. I think Stu and Larry both did try and reach out to Harold before Nadine came into the picture, and he still rejected him. But her influence was definitely negative. At the same time, she was being dominated by Flagg, so I don't know that I'd say it was her fault.

    But I've had similar thoughts about Trashcan Man. It sounds like he had an untreated mental illness, so it's concerning if the takeaway was that it pre-disposed him towards evil.
     
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  16. Wab

    Wab Well-Known Member

    Ole Trashy did get treatment, but the ECT at Terre Haute did more harm than good.
     
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  17. Wab

    Wab Well-Known Member

    In her diary Fran admits that at times she did treat Harold badly.
     
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  18. recitador

    recitador Speed Reader


    i doubt her definition of badly was in any way actually as bad as she imagined. certainly it's very doubtful it was bad enough to completely derail his life. his decisions are on him, not her.
     
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  19. raindance773

    raindance773 New Member

    I know Stu tried to talk to Harold immediately after they met and says “I’m not trying to steal Fran” in almost those exact words, but in the closing paragraph of that chapter Stu sets his eyes on Fran, which really sets a sour note for him and Harold from the start. Yes, Harold should have gotten over it, but that’s a massive wound to an already wounded ego and (to me) further highlights Harold’s natural immaturity (not in a negative way, but because he’s 17, and not had the life experiences of the 21YO Fran, 30YO Stu, or 36-ishYO Nadine).

    I know Larry was also very impressed with Harold until he met him and then that fell apart almost immediately too.
     
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  20. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ....Howdy!....
     
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