The Dark Tower Essay

1182 words - 5 pages

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” Stephen King’s seven-volume epic The Dark Tower begins and ends with the same sentence, the protagonist having come a full circle, like Gilgamesh praising the walls of Uruk in the ancient Sumerian myth. The Dark Tower –which Stephen King labels his magnum opus– can, in fact, also be regarded as a myth, though with modern content.
Stephen King is probably best known as a prolific horror novelist, but, while he remains fascinated by the horrific, he has written many types of stories as well, particularly in later years. The Dark Tower defies easy classification, but can be described as a kind of dark ...view middle of the document...

Unlike the companions he picks up along the way, his purpose is not primarily to save the world, but to ascend the tower in order to find out if the room at the top is inhabited by God or if God has abandoned his creation. Roland seeks an answer to the theodicy problem (though he would not know the word.) Although he does not recieve any answers in the end, through Roland’s myth, the reader might.
King’s primary sources of inspiration were Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone “spagetti westerns” and a poem by Robert Browning, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, which King had studied in a university course two years prior to commencing work on The Gunslinger. He also claims to have read and been impressed by J.R.R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings, which inspired him to venture into fantasy fiction. Stylistically, The Lord of the Rings has very little in common with The Dark Tower, there are only certain archetypical parallels. There is a dark tower in both, a satanic evil incarnate, and a fragile fellowship embarked on a quest to save the world. Moreover, King’s gunslinger Roland has very much in common with Tolkien’s Aragorn. Both are rough figures, old bachelors hardened by long lives in the wilderness, princes in exile.
In contrast to Tolkien’s works, Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone movies lend some style, atmosphere and props to The Dark Tower (especially the first volume) but very little of plot. Roland is a supreme gunslinger, like Clint Eastwood as the Man with no Name, but with very different priorities. He is not out to make a few dollars, but is driven by a single-minded purpose bordering on insanity; to reach the Dark Tower and ascend to the room at its top. Even though Roland is essentially a chivalric knight with double six-shoters instead of a sword, he is a tormented soul and a vastly darker character than the oppurtunistic and lightheaded Man with no Name.
While he hardly mentions it in his notes, King does not need to bring attention to the many and strong Arthurian connections. For example, Roland Deschain is descended from his world’s version of King Arthur (Arthur Eld), whose sword Excalibur was, at some point in family history, melted down to make Roland’s two massive six shooters. As another example, Susannah (a companion of Roland) gives birth to a demonic being called...

Other Essays Like The Dark Tower

Alfred, Lord Tennyson Compare and Contrast the Descriptive Effects Achieved in the Selection of Tennyson’s Poetry You Have Read

2168 words - 9 pages runs by Shalott”. The preposition “by” is used repeatedly in the poem to show her isolation. Her tower is grey, “four grey walls and four grey towers” and “embowers” the silent isle. This is an ironic use of the word “embower” as it is normally used to show a beautiful object. However here we have dark images of walls imprisoning the Lady of Shallot. “By” is repeated when Tennyson tells us “by the island in the river”. All

Movie Review

1077 words - 5 pages Charon Vultures Dioskilos Two Headed Dog Background Once there was a king named Acrisius, he had a beautiful daughter named Danae. The oracle of Apollo told Acrisius that Danae's son would one day kill him. Acrisius could not let that happen, so he locked Danae in a bronze tower so that she would never marry nor have children. The tower had no doors, but it had one very small window. Danae was very sad, but one day a bright

Solar Power

721 words - 3 pages collectors consist of a dark metal plate, covered with one or two sheets of glass, that absorbs heat. The heat is transferred to air or water, called carrier fluids, that flows past the back of the plate. This heat may be used directly or it may be transferred to another medium. Flat-plate collectors are used for home and hot-water heating. Flat-plate collectors typically heat carrier fluids to temperatures ranging from 150B0 to 200B0F. The efficiency of


5103 words - 21 pages conflict or dispute. Yet, for all their power and diversity, the Jedi were few. Often beset by foes in times of doubt and confusion, undercurrents of evil often challenged their order and the establishment they served, the most notable being the Sith. These dark warriors were the antithesis of the Jedi, their sworn enemies, and the battle between them brought the galaxy to war more than once. In times of crisis, the Sith influence could even block the

The Written Word Lives On

644 words - 3 pages finished. My nights of sleep seemed to have no chance. The twisting and turning of the tongue made a game my young mind enjoyed. Books, these windows to the other side, did not pass judgment and became my companions. I take a book with me when I travel so if I know no person at my destination I always have a friend with whom old times are shareable. Family without friends never provided me with enough company. Taking a walk with the dark elf Drizzt


608 words - 3 pages in common: they’re the bacon of electronics. They’re widely purported to make any project better and they’re often added to unlikely things (to everyone’s delight). To draw with your LED flashlight, set up your camera in a dark room and have your light on hand. If your camera has a flash setting, make sure it is turned off. Set your camera to record video or take a slow shutter image. You can use an auto-timer to get in position. When the camera

Princess Elizabath

615 words - 3 pages was very pale and had very dark eyes. She was tall and thin. She was also very loving and caring. She had many conflicts with her sister Mary. Mary trapped her in a tower, because Mary was afraid that Elizabeth was going to steal her crown. Henry VIII sent Elizabeth’s mom to death because she could not have a heir to the thrown (male child). After King Edward died, Mary became Queen. Mary got really sick while baring a child; Mary had a

Mysterious Benedict Society Analysis

1384 words - 6 pages question correct, and figures out every challenge and puzzle he faces. Along the way, he meets Kate Wetherall who was abandoned by her father when she was two, Sticky (A.K.A. George) Washington, who is a runaway. Soon, they meet one final challenge; the maze. It is a maze of dark rooms that you can only find the way out of if you follow the yellow squiggly arrows in each room. They meet Milligan, who had his memory wiped recently, Rhonda an

A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Study Guide)

3110 words - 13 pages maiden lady and was courted by a Mr. Edgar Teagarden. He would give her a watermelon with his initial's (E.A.T) carved in them every Saturday afternoon. One Saturday she was not home so the watermelon was left on the porch and a boy saw the watermelon and ate it since it said eat. The family ends up stopping at The Tower to have a bit to eat. Red Sammy Butts, the owner, talks to the grandmother after the family ordered about how people are

Sam Raimi - the Quick and the Dead

1857 words - 8 pages Marshall Badge, leaving the town knowing it is in the hands of someone good. Auteur criticism is a type of film criticisms that attempts to understand a film through its stylistic approaches that can be seen in the director’s other movies. Sam Raimi obviously has his own style and approaches to film making, most of which can be seen in his work with The Evil Dead series. Although most famous for making dark movies, one of Raimi’s most

Strictly Ballroom

1265 words - 6 pages vulnerable. Ironically, the school teacher who lectures about “savages” is drawn with bared teeth, depicting him as far more monstrous than the stranger. This picture book thus suggests that although foreigners may appear strange or menacing, the reality is that they are vulnerable, and it is actually the islanders who are truly savage, reinforced by their large size as they tower over the man with weapons drawn. Visual language techniques have

Related Papers

A Biography Of Sir Walter Raleigh

495 words - 2 pages combination of his dark hair, lofty forehead, resolute bearing, courtly manners, and spirited wit. However, he could also be haughty, and because of his pride and impatience he made many enemies, so he could never be admitted to the Queen's Counsel in matters of state. Queen Elizabeth I asked many favors of him, gave him large properties within Ireland, and finally in 1585 he was knighted. In return Raleigh took over several responsibilities of

“The Gunslinger” By Stephen King Essay

682 words - 3 pages The book “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King is the first book in “The Dark Tower” series. The main character Roland Deschain of Gilead, who was the gunslinger, the last one, was trying to reach The Man in Black that was supposed to inform him about the Dark Tower. The story took place in a world which had had “moved on”. As Roland traveled across the desert in search of the man in black, he met Brown, a farmer, who offered him to put up for the

Cinderella (1950) Essay

826 words - 4 pages making both their dreams come true. Unfortunately, then the music fades away and we hear and see the clock tower hit “midnight.” As Cinderella rushes out of the palace, a non-diegetic music begins with fast and high-pitched violin notes and some heavy brass sound that gives the audience a clue that something uncalled for is about to happen. The sound of the bell tower is still in the background to keep the sense of rushing in place. The music

The Day The World Cried Essay

1031 words - 5 pages moved his country from disbelief to reality. Good morning / afternoon Ms. Scully and fellow classmates. September 11th was a dark and stormy Tuesday where the lives of people became the cost of revenge. Many innocent people faced their Tuesday morning by ending their lives instantly, as a high jacked plane plummeted from the sky, towards their office building. At 8:45 am a high jacked passenger jet, flight 11 of American