What's in a name?

The devil is in the details.

What's in a name?

Postby Wanderingscribe on Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:51 pm

Warning: this thread exists either because I'm incredibly slow on the uptake or I've spent far too many years in English Lit seminars learning to make connections that (sometimes) aren't there :). I also know writers rarely name characters without a reason. Anyway...

Merrin's sister Regan reminded me of the little girl in The Exorcist, and not just because of her name. Think about it- both are possessed by some sort of evil (cancer in her case) which turns them into someone they're not and makes them say horrible, hurtful things to the people who love them.

Pushing this further than it has any business going, I also think Merrin's father's habit of calling her Mary refers to the "blessed state" Ig's life is in for as long as she's around. To him. she is a symbol of all that's good in the world, and many Christians (particularly those of the Roman persuasion) regard their Lady of Grace the same way. Late in the book, when Ig accepts who he's become, he even says "this is what I am without her." Coincidence? I think not.

What say you, my learned friends? Am I onto something here or just typing out of the back of my neck because I have too much free time?
"I had always thought of myself, despite my taste for ludicrous trousers and mickey-taking, as having some shred of creativity."

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Re: What's in a name?

Postby Romeo_Haight on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:50 pm

i just took them as references to the exorcist. like little nods.

horns = devil aka pazuzu
merrin = father merrin
reagan = blah blah.

i'm amazed there was no one named karras in the book.
i felt like i was in on the joke.
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby Wanderingscribe on Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:08 pm

The Father Merrin name check never once occurred to me! Here I am adding two and two to make five and I miss a reference that was under my nose the whole time. Duh...
"I had always thought of myself, despite my taste for ludicrous trousers and mickey-taking, as having some shred of creativity."

(Bruce Dickinson)
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby LauraK on Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:40 pm

I actually thought of Pet Sematary and Rachel's sister Zelda dying horribly in the back bedroom when I read about Merrin's sister. I know it was spinal meningitis vs. cancer but it turned them both into different, awful people.

I didn't pick up on anything exorcist- Duh!! :D
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby James on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:51 pm

Reading Horns gave me the same feeling I had when I watched Stir of Echoes. Love that feeling.
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby bornoffire on Mon May 10, 2010 3:17 pm

I think the Mary/Marrin comparison is right on and something that confirmed when Ig left the treehouse with the Devil headed angel next to Mary on the table.
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby This_Girl on Sat May 15, 2010 12:16 am

LauraK wrote:I actually thought of Pet Sematary and Rachel's sister Zelda dying horribly in the back bedroom when I read about Merrin's sister. I know it was spinal meningitis vs. cancer but it turned them both into different, awful people.

I didn't pick up on anything exorcist- Duh!! :D


I had to go back on some of my posts here to see if I mentioned Zelda, too. I thought of her as well....she, I think, is probably one of the scariest characters I have ever "read" across and I thought of her (eeeeeesh) when learning of Reagan.
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