To See Is To Believe (1408 by Stephen King)


      I debated for a while on what to start this project out with. I knew I wanted a Stephen King piece mainly because he’s one of the more modern authors I like, and I wanted something that was easier to handle. So, with resilience my paperback copy of “Stephen King Goes To the Movies,” stared back at me.  I decided on his short story “1408.” It’s a story about a writer who pens books on supposedly haunted locations. He believes in himself, and some of his works. The works he’s known for, however, he isn’t exactly proud of. 
      The hotel manger desperately tries to stop him from staying in the haunted room, 1408. The writer decides that the manager is simply trying to scare him off, and the writer all but shoves his way into the room. Both the book are fairly consistent up to this point.  Of course, there would have to be case because the story, in my paperback copy was only about 56 pages, but the movie was a about an hour and a half. The main difference was the way the room seems to work. In the book it seems to work like a portal: allowing unspeakable almost Lovecraftian horrors of the infinite into the finite. While in the movie, once you enter the room; the room is all that exists. In the book the room seems to simply break you down, turning you into a broken down copy of yourself. While in the movie it shows the main character flashbacks into the most painful moments of his life.       
     The other difference is that in the book the main character abandons rationality more readily while in the movie he keeps attempting to come up with reasons why the horrors came in.  In fact the very ending is different. In the book he barely makes it out, on fire, but he makes it out alive. In the final scene he’s a ghost still trapped in room 1408.  The movie is true to the book, however. Why do I say that, when I just explained how different the plots are? I say that because the points that both convey are essentially the same.  Horror movies and books have a prevailing theme of supernatural, or  abnormal stirring under the guise of ordinary life. The theme shows up in some of King's other works. "Fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists."-"It," 
The theme of 1408 goes a little deeper. The books most prominent theme is about belief. When the main charecter is talking to the hotel manager. The manager tells him about his main crutch "There are no ghosts in room 1408, and never have been... In an old house, or abandoned castle keep, your unbelief may serve you as protection. In room 1408 it will render you more vulnerable." What would be the reason for this? The reason would be that your dealing with an objective threat, unlike in the castle where your threats are in your own imagination. At the end of the book the manager is being questioned about the sustained burns of the main charecter, and he answers "He believed to much in nothing." The idea that a person is judged by their unbelief seems to be present in both this, and Christianity. It used to puzzle me why faith in the sense of belief could be considered a virtue. How could simply accepting a statement on reason be considered moral?
What I didn't take into account was the human mind. The human mind won't neccesarily, once it has taken somthing as true, go on acting as if it is true. Take a boy learning to swim. He has seen tons of people swim without plumiting to the bottom. His reason knows perfectly well, but what he must do is keep on acting, and trusting in that reason and foresight. This is what's known as the virtue of faith. (Paraphrase of C.S. Lewis Chapter 11 book three of "Mere Christianity)
 I think that if we learn to objectively look at the media we absorb we'll find peices we actually agree with, and peices we don't. If we can do that we can learn more about our world. We can see our blindspots, and reach out to show people like ourselves, and not like ourselves. If yo're a christian tehn you believe you ahve the full roadmap to reality. So why stop exploring? 

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