- Sep 23, 2017
From the beginning, I thought if the similarities of war. How only a young man might find honor in signing up to die.The Long Walk ended in such a surprising way that I sat stunned, breathless, and maybe grinning. I think sK simply chose to write an ending which forces the reader to decide what must have happened. It's a daring thing for an author to do because there are times when it's appropriate - it works - and probably many more times when it doesn't. After remaining in shock for a while, I decided that I think it works brilliantly in this case. Another of my favorite authors, Michael Crichton, did this in Sphere and Prey. When asked about Sphere's ending he said he wanted the reader to decide about a certain important thing. The ambiguity still causes me to study the rest of the story for clues. The Long Walk's ending doesn't cause such a need for me; the mystery is of a less subtle type than that in Sphere. sK's is more of a shock, a surprise. But I enjoy the challenge to my imagination when an author is brave in this way. I find it stimulating.
My personal decision, as it was an sK homework assignment of sorts......is that due to the hatred he has developed for The Major, who symbolizes all that's evil in an authority governing a morally warped society, Garraty, faced physically and psychologically with a choice, chooses to die instead of acknowledge that society's perverse demands. A fellow member PMd me not long ago, asking if I thought I saw a correlation between The Long Walk and the Vietnam War. I had not thought about the story in that way, but I have since.