THE LONG WALK

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Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#3
In the final analysis, The Long Walk is a story about learning a lesson that isn't going to do you any good.

It's about boys who aren't really offered the option to be men, so they make a choice, and they get lucky. Or maybe they get unlucky. Or maybe both. I like it because on the surface there's not a whole lot going on, but it can be about lots of different things, depending upon how you look at yourself.

It's stark and it tells a tale most people don't want to hear, but if you enjoy character study and don't mind short, intense relationships, you could do a lot worse.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,643
313,272
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#7
This book was fantastic I just didn't understand who that shadow figure at the end was I figured it could have been death but that's too easy then I thought his father which would be a smart wrap up what do you think
...thought this was a good summation...a simple hallucination....my own thought, initially was "Death" but could be a precursor of "the man in black" as well....

Finally, Garraty decides to give up after realizing that Stebbins has shown almost no weaknesses over the duration of the Walk. Garraty catches up with Stebbins to tell him this, but before he can speak, Stebbins collapses and dies; thus Garraty is declared the winner.

Unaware of the celebration going on around him, Garraty gets up from Stebbins' side and keeps on walking, believing the race to still continue, as he hallucinates a dark figure not far ahead that he thinks is another competitor. He ignores a jeep coming towards him in which the Major comes to award him the victory, thinking it is a trespassing vehicle. When a hand touches his shoulder, Garraty somehow finds the strength to run
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#8
I read The Long Walk.
I thought it was a long read. I kept waiting for the point of the story.
Does it have to have a point?
Can't it just be a story?

Think about why there would have to be a lottery because so many boys want to walk, even knowing what they know. And then think about all the boys who don't get to walk. They're waiting, too, aren't they? Waiting for there to be a point. Except there isn't.

:eyebrow:
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#9
This book was fantastic I just didn't understand who that shadow figure at the end was I figured it could have been death but that's too easy then I thought his father which would be a smart wrap up what do you think
This^ is an interesting idea.

You're right when you say "death" is too easy. Death has been their companion all along. Why would any of them have to chase it when they could have it simply by stopping?

But his father . . .

That makes a bit of sense, now I think of it. Maybe Garraty -- in his extremity -- is simply trying to find out how he got where he is, and surely his father would know the answer to that, wouldn't he?

I like to think the shadow figure is imaginary. I like to think that the walkers move from a world which offers nothing into a world which at least offers one thing: forward motion. At the end, I think the ideas of winning or losing or even dying simply don't exist anymore. Only walking exists. There is nothing else. No mom. No Jan. No Musketeers. Only walking. That's the great joke The Walk plays every year. And that's the real prize: You get to keep going.
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#10
Does it have to have a point?
Can't it just be a story?


Think about why there would have to be a lottery because so many boys want to walk, even knowing what they know. And then think about all the boys who don't get to walk. They're waiting, too, aren't they? Waiting for there to be a point. Except there isn't.

:eyebrow:
Well, sure, a story can just be a story. Nothing more, nothing less.
But, but, but... do not the best stories have a point?

I had a difficult time reading The Long Walk. I became impatient and annoyed wondering where this story was going.
Reading this discourse has helped me to see some sort of reason for the publication of this one, other than income generator.
 
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,629
NJ
#12
Well, sure, a story can just be a story. Nothing more, nothing less.
But, but, but... do not the best stories have a point?

I had a difficult time reading The Long Walk. I became impatient and annoyed wondering where this story was going.
Reading this discourse has helped me to see some sort of reason for the publication of this one, other than income generator.
In answer to that question, I would most emphatically say "no." That is my opinion at least.

As a long time reader and English Lit major in college, I never force myself to look for a "point" of a story. If there is indeed one, it will eventually become obvious. If not, then I just let the story be and go for the ride. I'm 54 years old and my life story while pretty fascinating and full of a lot of interesting things, really has no "point" as far as I can tell. But boy, has it been a good story so far!
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#14
I had a difficult time reading The Long Walk. I became impatient and annoyed wondering where this story was going.
It was going down the road, of course. What else could it do?

But seriously ... a story like this gives the reader a lot of license for interpretation, it seems to me. Forget for the moment that the boys choose their predicament. Once they're in it, they're in it and have to deal with the reality of it being not at all what they envisioned.

I guess a lot of people will stick with a story they don't really like much in hope that there will be some great "reveal" at some point. We get this story -- a story about a contest -- from the perspective of one kid, so we shouldn't really be hanging around to see who "wins" if we're not enjoying the journey. It seems to me that the point of the story (again, if there is one) is to see if we can learn what Garraty learns -- or does not learn -- on his walk.

Where we run into problems, I fear, is when we come to realize that it just may be that Garraty doesn't learn anything, or if he does -- and as I said in my initial post -- the knowledge is no longer useful to him.

Else why stop walking at the end, and start running?
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#15
In answer to that question, I would most emphatically say "no." That is my opinion at least.

As a long time reader and English Lit major in college, I never force myself to look for a "point" of a story. If there is indeed one, it will eventually become obvious. If not, then I just let the story be and go for the ride. I'm 54 years old and my life story while pretty fascinating and full of a lot of interesting things, really has no "point" as far as I can tell. But boy, has it been a good story so far!
Great point, CYB!! :applause:
This hits home with me! I so get it!

I suppose I might re-read The Long Walk and see where it takes me the second time...
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#16
It was going down the road, of course. What else could it do?
But seriously ... a story like this gives the reader a lot of license for interpretation, it seems to me. Forget for the moment that the boys choose their predicament. Once they're in it, they're in it and have to deal with the reality of it being not at all what they envisioned.
I guess a lot of people will stick with a story they don't really like much in hope that there will be some great "reveal" at some point. We get this story -- a story about a contest -- from the perspective of one kid, so we shouldn't really be hanging around to see who "wins" if we're not enjoying the journey. It seems to me that the point of the story (again, if there is one) is to see if we can learn what Garraty learns -- or does not learn -- on his walk.

Where we run into problems, I fear, is when we come to realize that it just may be that Garraty doesn't learn anything, or if he does -- and as I said in my initial post -- the knowledge is no longer useful to him.
Else why stop walking at the end, and start running?
I am beginning to see the point... elusive as it was to me during the first read.
 
Nov 30, 2015
5
25
18
#17
Does it have to have a point?
Can't it just be a story?

so many boys want to walk, EVEN KNOWING WHAT THEY KNOW

:eyebrow:
Yes that is an amazing point but, do they really know, I don't think they do I think that they are ignorant about the matter only having watched the walk on television. They really don't know how it feels to walk for 5 days with no rest although the idea is appalling, getting what you want, any wish makes it sound so much better all the general is doing is mass butchering 99 kids a year because in the end there is no prize. You just watched 99 people get butchered so no there is no prize
 
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,629
NJ
#18
Great point, CYB!! :applause:
This hits home with me! I so get it!


I suppose I might re-read The Long Walk and see where it takes me the second time...
Thanks for saying so summer_sky! Sometimes I feel a bit silly after writing a paragraph of how I feel thinking, "Boy, people are going to read this and think I'm full of crap." Nice to know some of you actually understand my "rantings." ;-D
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#19
Yes that is an amazing point but, do they really know, I don't think they do I think that they are ignorant about the matter only having watched the walk on television.
They really don't know how it feels to walk for 5 days with no rest although the idea is appalling, getting what you want, any wish makes it sound so much better all the general is doing is mass butchering 99 kids a year because in the end there is no prize. You just watched 99 people get butchered so no there is no prize
Sounds a lot like war as a sport, eh?
Maybe, I had trouble seeing the point as I read because I see it (the story) this way and to not like what I see...
 
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