What about Garraty??

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Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
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Does Garraty die at the end of "the long walk"? Your opinion please! o_O
I like the ambiguous ending. The first time I read it, I thought he died. The second time, I thought he survived. It's funny what a person brings to a book, isn't it? I think I'm more optimistic these days.

*shrugs*

What do you think? Welcome.
 

ghost19

"Have I run too far to get home?"
Sep 25, 2011
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I'd like to think he survived, though it may well be ambiguous as well. I found myself rooting for him the whole way.
I always thought that he survived, but may have lost his mind when Stebbins finally got his "ticket". The last few lines of the story were just eerie about him being able to actually run toward the finish afterwards. This is one of my favorite stores from Mr. King of all. When I first read this story and "Rage" as a teenager, I was blown away by both stories.
 

Coolallosaurus

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2018
252
1,662
Welcome!!!

Personally, I am casting my vote in support of Garraty making it physically, but not mentally. There's the quote in the final section of the novel during the brilliant scene where Garraty's losing it (jazz playing in his head, dissociating from Jan and his mother as humans) that seems to verify this: "Even if he won, if he managed to outlast McVries and Stebbins and Baker, it was over. He was never going home again" (380). Although, I think there might be another layer here in that even if Garraty did live and win, he probably doesn't have a long life ahead of him. From the information revealed throughout the book, it seems the winners end up dying from the horrific toll the Walk takes on their bodies (I remember reading about a guy wearing down his feet and another dropping dead at the end from an aneurysm).
 

Coolallosaurus

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2018
252
1,662
I like the ambiguous ending. The first time I read it, I thought he died. The second time, I thought he survived. It's funny what a person brings to a book, isn't it? I think I'm more optimistic these days.

*shrugs*

What do you think? Welcome.
An interesting interpretation. The novel reminded me a lot of Catch-22 which also had a (somewhat) ambiguous ending, so that seems appropriate.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
16,992
81,146
42
United States
Welcome!!!

Personally, I am casting my vote in support of Garraty making it physically, but not mentally. There's the quote in the final section of the novel during the brilliant scene where Garraty's losing it (jazz playing in his head, dissociating from Jan and his mother as humans) that seems to verify this: "Even if he won, if he managed to outlast McVries and Stebbins and Baker, it was over. He was never going home again" (380). Although, I think there might be another layer here in that even if Garraty did live and win, he probably doesn't have a long life ahead of him. From the information revealed throughout the book, it seems the winners end up dying from the horrific toll the Walk takes on their bodies (I remember reading about a guy wearing down his feet and another dropping dead at the end from an aneurysm).
Yes, I agree with everyone that in a scenario where Garraty lives, I think he wouldn't have all his mental faculties and it definitely would take a toll on him physically.
 

Coolallosaurus

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2018
252
1,662
I just realized that TLW could be an allegory to aging. At the end of your life your left with nothing- your body is destroyed and your mind is just gone.
Oh, that's another interesting interpretation! I have a few sections in the book highlighted where the characters seem to age prematurely, too (which fits with what you're saying).
 

Distance87

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2019
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East Texas
So I first read the long walk when I was 15 it was a gift from a teacher so about 17 years ago. At that time I thought ray went crazy but survives. I re-read multiple times since but never thought he died until after I left the military. Well I recently re read the long walk agian after rereading the tower series and the stand and it clicked what if ray is the walkin' dude aka Randal Flagg aka the man in black. His madness could have left him seeking revenge and I believe the bachman books serve the tower in their own way.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
86,048
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So I first read the long walk when I was 15 it was a gift from a teacher so about 17 years ago. At that time I thought ray went crazy but survives. I re-read multiple times since but never thought he died until after I left the military. Well I recently re read the long walk agian after rereading the tower series and the stand and it clicked what if ray is the walkin' dude aka Randal Flagg aka the man in black. His madness could have left him seeking revenge and I believe the bachman books serve the tower in their own way.
....interesting as hell theory.....like it.....
 
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