Susan Norton

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Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
8,927
59,079
53
sweden
#1
Dont you think Susan is acting a little hasty when she goes to the house? I mean she was asked not to and it is such a thing that a stupid heroine does in a movie. I somehow feel it is a bit unlike King to offer so little motivation for a major characters actions. What do yo think?
 

morgan

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2010
29,029
102,116
North Dakota
#5
Dont you think Susan is acting a little hasty when she goes to the house? I mean she was asked not to and it is such a thing that a stupid heroine does in a movie. I somehow feel it is a bit unlike King to offer so little motivation for a major characters actions. What do yo think?
I just finished a reread of this book a few months back and it was like reading it for the first time-I was enthralled! I understand where you're coming from and remember a somewhat similar thought. But sometimes while reading the "I can't believe she would do something so stupid" scenario, it makes me think there will be some other twist or alternate outcome.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,675
92,041
USA
#8
I do think it was hasty, but I also find it completely within the nature of the character. Prior to that point, we're both told and shown that Susan is an upfront, cheerful, realistic girl. Knowing that, her decision to go to the house is completely within character: upfront, because she faces her problems head on (remember her confrontations with her mother over both Ben and Floyd. Neither could have been easy, but she bit the bullet and did what she had to do. And she decided to move out not from pique, as her mother suggested, but because she decided in a clear headed manner that it was time). It was both cheerful and realistic because she is not one to fear shadows, not even after seeing Mike rise. She's even aware that what she is doing is classic horror movie, "What the hell is that dumb ***** doing?" material, but she can't change her basic nature, which is to be optimistic and realistic.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
8,927
59,079
53
sweden
#9
I do think it was hasty, but I also find it completely within the nature of the character. Prior to that point, we're both told and shown that Susan is an upfront, cheerful, realistic girl. Knowing that, her decision to go to the house is completely within character: upfront, because she faces her problems head on (remember her confrontations with her mother over both Ben and Floyd. Neither could have been easy, but she bit the bullet and did what she had to do. And she decided to move out not from pique, as her mother suggested, but because she decided in a clear headed manner that it was time). It was both cheerful and realistic because she is not one to fear shadows, not even after seeing Mike rise. She's even aware that what she is doing is classic horror movie, "What the hell is that dumb ***** doing?" material, but she can't change her basic nature, which is to be optimistic and realistic.
Yes, if she had acted out of her own head it would have been in her character but she had also promised Ben not to go and she doesn't strike me as a girl that breaks given promises without first telling people about it.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,675
92,041
USA
#10
Yes, if she had acted out of her own head it would have been in her character but she had also promised Ben not to go and she doesn't strike me as a girl that breaks given promises without first telling people about it.
A reluctant promise, given lightly to a sick man, and against her basic nature ;) Nope, I still stick with 'in character' :)
 

krwhiting

Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2015
258
1,071
52
#13
I believe that my wife would do the same thing if she thought her loved ones were in danger, but Susan didn't believe that. I saw it as an aspect of her "realistic" personality. She clearly did not believe that Barlow and his threat were real. She thought it was crazy to think there were vampires in town. Even her "stake gathering" was clearly unthought out and more in the manner of a lark. I was more surprised at her sneaking in, since I would have expected her to drive right up the driveway to the front door. But King uses the "psychic" presence of the house to explain that a bit.

I thought Mark was more interesting. I've been a boy of that age. And I was pretty imaginative. I don't think I'd have had the courage to go in there with just a single person to help. Much less alone, as he planned. Especially since he knew exactly what they were facing. Of course, Straker leaving might have made it seem safe to act as they did. That, by the way, is why you need a group for these things. Lookouts who take the job seriously, in pairs, armed. If "these things" were ever real. I'd try to organize an infantry squad operation with sand-maps and walkthroughs and SOPs before I tried something like that.

Also, the time thing. They were repeatedly moving slowly, wandering around without getting to it. You've only got so much time. And you know it. Stay on task. Hit hard, hit fast, get out. That's always bugged me.

Kelly
 
Mar 26, 2015
17
47
54
Kentucky
#14
Didn't it seem like the people in this story were under some sort of hypnosis, though? Slowing them down, causing their minds to wander and time to pass? I always feel like they're being manipulated by forces unseen, ergo, given to rash action or distraction. There were so many undercurrents and it seemed like the sun was always the verge of setting!
 

Rockym

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2012
70
212
#15
A reluctant promise, given lightly to a sick man, and against her basic nature ;) Nope, I still stick with 'in character' :)
And also a man she loved. I have to disagree with you as well.

That said, Salems Lot was the first full King novel I have ever read, (the first book was Night Shift, and I read Lot after that because of the short story that was in Night Shift). Anyway,
Susan getting caught and bitten was the saddest part of the story for me, because I really loved her and Ben as a couple. I was a pre-teen back in the late 70s when I first read it and I remember how sad I felt when Susan went and then later when Ben had to drive the stake into her. It was really heartbreaking to see him lose someone he loved for the second time. I've re-read the book many times since then and just did again recently, and that whole thing makes me feel so sad every time. I always wonder if King ever thought of saving her when he was writing the story, or if she was always "doomed from the start".
 

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,756
195,386
Atlanta GA
#17
Dont you think Susan is acting a little hasty when she goes to the house? I mean she was asked not to and it is such a thing that a stupid heroine does in a movie. I somehow feel it is a bit unlike King to offer so little motivation for a major characters actions. What do yo think?
Susan Norton in 'Salem's Lot

"I was attracted to [Straker] in a mildly sexual way, I guess. Older man, very urbane, very charming, very courtly. You know looking at him that he could order form a French menu and know what wine would go with what, not just red or white but the year and even the vineyard. Very definitely not the run of fellow you see around here." - Susan Norton

"Sophistication, urbanity, older wiser man, 'not the run of fellow you see around here'. What Susan responds to in Straker is at least in part what she responds to in Ben [Mears]. She's looking for someone who will take her away from all this."

I think Susan was drawn to her fate due to vulnerability via her discontent in life.
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,217
57
#18
Susan Norton in 'Salem's Lot

"I was attracted to [Straker] in a mildly sexual way, I guess. Older man, very urbane, very charming, very courtly. You know looking at him that he could order form a French menu and know what wine would go with what, not just red or white but the year and even the vineyard. Very definitely not the run of fellow you see around here." - Susan Norton

"Sophistication, urbanity, older wiser man, 'not the run of fellow you see around here'. What Susan responds to in Straker is at least in part what she responds to in Ben [Mears]. She's looking for someone who will take her away from all this."

I think Susan was drawn to her fate due to vulnerability via her discontent in life.
Hence, the "love at first sight" with Ben.

She's a kid and she has a kid's perspective. I would agree that the character is consistent and that she doesn't really feel the fear that the reader fees for her.

She might know she's in a movie, but she thinks it's a romantic movie, not a horror movie.
 
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