THE LONG WALK

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blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,756
195,342
Atlanta GA
#21
I read The Long Walk.
I thought it was a long read. I kept waiting for the point of the story.
The point is at the end.

I enjoyed the story very much but was also confused by the ending. Still dont really know what to think about the end but overall it was good.
What ending would be better?
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,502
116,673
Spokane, WA
#22
The Long Walk is my favorite 'Bachman' novel. I love everything about it (even the fact that one of the kids who dies early on in the book shows up later on in the Walk, but who cares, right?). While pondering everyone's responses here, I came up with another: maybe the point (or parable or moral if you will) of the story is that we must be careful in the choices that we make in life as all may not be what it seems. Think about it for a moment- the age Garrity is in the story is the time when most of us were thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up and after choosing and making our way to get to that point, after being there for awhile, we realize that maybe we made a wrong choice, but it was too late to stop or change things. As for the ending- I think at this point in the tale that Garrity has lost his mind and while it might not be a hallucination that someone has placed a hand on his shoulder (to stop him from walking as he's 'won' the contest), in his mind it is Death coming for him and so he takes off running. But, as we all know, you can't outrun Death......
 

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,756
195,342
Atlanta GA
#23
The Long Walk is my favorite 'Bachman' novel. I love everything about it (even the fact that one of the kids who dies early on in the book shows up later on in the Walk, but who cares, right?). While pondering everyone's responses here, I came up with another: maybe the point (or parable or moral if you will) of the story is that we must be careful in the choices that we make in life as all may not be what it seems. Think about it for a moment- the age Garrity is in the story is the time when most of us were thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up and after choosing and making our way to get to that point, after being there for awhile, we realize that maybe we made a wrong choice, but it was too late to stop or change things. As for the ending- I think at this point in the tale that Garrity has lost his mind and while it might not be a hallucination that someone has placed a hand on his shoulder (to stop him from walking as he's 'won' the contest), in his mind it is Death coming for him and so he takes off running. But, as we all know, you can't outrun Death......
I like it. Which means nothing, of course.
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#24
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
Well ... that's exactly it, and I think the point is brought home when the first boy -- I don't remember his name and it doesn't matter -- gets his ticket. It's real. It's not what they may have thought it was. It's not an adventure, and that, I think, is the point that seems to be eluding young summer_sky up there.

You can't call timeout. You can't take it back. You're in it. So now what?

This is the essence (and the evil) of the story to me. The boys make a choice that a boy -- who knows little of the world -- might reasonably make. He sees nothing in his future that looks remotely promising (or even livable) so he thinks getting his "15 minutes" in The Walk might be okay in comparison to a long life of probable misery.

Except it isn't. But by the time the boys realize it isn't, it's too late. So they try in small ways to band together, but of course the rules will not allow for this. It's a trap. Plain and simple. And the real ugliness in the story isn't that it's a trap the boys walk into willingly, but that the people who feed off it -- the great god CROWD -- know it's a trap, and relish it all the more for that.

It's pretty dark, all the way around.

Simply delightful, if you're of a certain psychological bent.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,502
116,673
Spokane, WA
#25
Well ... that's exactly it, and I think the point is brought home when the first boy -- I don't remember his name and it doesn't matter -- gets his ticket. It's real. It's not what they may have thought it was. It's not an adventure, and that, I think, is the point that seems to be eluding young summer_sky up there.

You can't call timeout. You can't take it back. You're in it. So now what?

This is the essence (and the evil) of the story to me. The boys make a choice that a boy -- who knows little of the world -- might reasonably make. He sees nothing in his future that looks remotely promising (or even livable) so he thinks getting his "15 minutes" in The Walk might be okay in comparison to a long life of probable misery.

Except it isn't. But by the time the boys realize it isn't, it's too late. So they try in small ways to band together, but of course the rules will not allow for this. It's a trap. Plain and simple. And the real ugliness in the story isn't that it's a trap the boys walk into willingly, but that the people who feed off it -- the great god CROWD -- know it's a trap, and relish it all the more for that.

It's pretty dark, all the way around.

Simply delightful, if you're of a certain psychological bent.
It also is something to consider that The Long Walk is somewhat of an homage to Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#26
Well ... that's exactly it, and I think the point is brought home when the first boy -- I don't remember his name and it doesn't matter -- gets his ticket. It's real. It's not what they may have thought it was. It's not an adventure, and that, I think, is the point that seems to be eluding young summer_sky up there.
You can't call timeout. You can't take it back. You're in it. So now what?
This is the essence (and the evil) of the story to me. The boys make a choice that a boy -- who knows little of the world -- might reasonably make. He sees nothing in his future that looks remotely promising (or even livable) so he thinks getting his "15 minutes" in The Walk might be okay in comparison to a long life of probable misery.
Except it isn't. But by the time the boys realize it isn't, it's too late. So they try in small ways to band together, but of course the rules will not allow for this. It's a trap. Plain and simple. And the real ugliness in the story isn't that it's a trap the boys walk into willingly, but that the people who feed off it -- the great god CROWD -- know it's a trap, and relish it all the more for that.
It's pretty dark, all the way around.
Simply delightful, if you're of a certain psychological bent.
:icon_idea: Suddenly, the lightbulb comes on for me, you old Puck.
It is a tamed down version of The Running Man. And, now that you have brought all this back to the front of my feeble memory (it's been a long time since I read The Long Walk), I remember being reminded of The Running Man as I struggled through The Long Walk.

Still, it is not my favorite King writing, even if profound. Maybe, that is it... it is too profound for my young inexperienced mind :a28:
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
56
#33
It also is something to consider that The Long Walk is somewhat of an homage to Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
More than somewhat, I should think that if we consider that idea of the great god CROWD as a kind of actual god for this new age -- whatever it is in the story (whatever "level of the tower," if you simply have to do that) -- then I think we can make a very direct correlation to The Lottery.

Gods, old or new, must be fed.

Why else would people be dragging dead trees into their homes even as we speak?
 

doowopgirl

very avid fan
Aug 7, 2009
6,619
22,795
60
dublin ireland
#36
...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
I always thought it was the Major, but Gerraty had gone mad by then. One of the most chilling stories.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,656
313,399
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#37
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!
...the point on your head darlin' notwithstanding....:love:
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,656
313,399
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#38
The Long Walk is my favorite 'Bachman' novel. I love everything about it (even the fact that one of the kids who dies early on in the book shows up later on in the Walk, but who cares, right?). While pondering everyone's responses here, I came up with another: maybe the point (or parable or moral if you will) of the story is that we must be careful in the choices that we make in life as all may not be what it seems. Think about it for a moment- the age Garrity is in the story is the time when most of us were thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up and after choosing and making our way to get to that point, after being there for awhile, we realize that maybe we made a wrong choice, but it was too late to stop or change things. As for the ending- I think at this point in the tale that Garrity has lost his mind and while it might not be a hallucination that someone has placed a hand on his shoulder (to stop him from walking as he's 'won' the contest), in his mind it is Death coming for him and so he takes off running. But, as we all know, you can't outrun Death......
...duh!...The Walking Dead you ninny!....:love:
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,656
313,399
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#39
Well ... that's exactly it, and I think the point is brought home when the first boy -- I don't remember his name and it doesn't matter -- gets his ticket. It's real. It's not what they may have thought it was. It's not an adventure, and that, I think, is the point that seems to be eluding young summer_sky up there.

You can't call timeout. You can't take it back. You're in it. So now what?

This is the essence (and the evil) of the story to me. The boys make a choice that a boy -- who knows little of the world -- might reasonably make. He sees nothing in his future that looks remotely promising (or even livable) so he thinks getting his "15 minutes" in The Walk might be okay in comparison to a long life of probable misery.

Except it isn't. But by the time the boys realize it isn't, it's too late. So they try in small ways to band together, but of course the rules will not allow for this. It's a trap. Plain and simple. And the real ugliness in the story isn't that it's a trap the boys walk into willingly, but that the people who feed off it -- the great god CROWD -- know it's a trap, and relish it all the more for that.

It's pretty dark, all the way around.

Simply delightful, if you're of a certain psychological bent.
...this is exactly where some of my thoughts wandered....realization that this is a "game" of fatal consequence doesn't really set in until the first ticket is punched and the "crowd" presages what we now call 'reality" entertainment, nauseating as that may be....
 
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