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  • E. Vail

One Way to Create a Book Bento

Ugh, guys I’m way late today. Okay, we have been through this way too many times and I know you guys don’t want to keep hearing me apologize so I’ll just make sure to post once a week and that’ll be it. School is picking up really fast so I probably will have to do two posts per one week at certain points but I promise I will catch up and keep this blog going. Now that we have gotten that over with, this week I will be writing about one way many people create book bentos. We will be doing that with the incredible book/novella The Body by the unbelievable Mr. Stephen King. You may know him from the books and movies It and It 2 (The Body also has an amazing movie to go with it called Stand By Me which is one of the rare movies that is exactly like the book). So, similar to many of my other posts, this one is full of spoilers. This is when you go read the book and/or watch the movie or if you don’t plan on reading the book I recommend you read some spoiler-included summaries in order to understand this blog post better. In this post I will also incorporate something I just learned about which I think is very cool... The Archetypal Hero’s Journey. This is a recurring pattern or plot line in art and literature discovered by Joseph Campbell. I will incorporate The Hero’s Journey by adding an object for our hypothetical book bento based upon each part of The Hero’s Journey in The Body. Here it is:

Ordinary world= the place where the story begins, the character is oblivious to the journey that is to come. This allows you to empathize with the character and see the character as a human (get to know their human-like characteristics).

For Gordon that is Castle Rock, we start off in his tree house there:

“We had a treehouse in a big elm which overhung a vacant lot in Castle Rock.(pg. 1)”

Book bento object: toy castle

Call to adventure= something happens to make the character start his/her adventure.

Vern suggests that the whole crew goes to see a dead body of a boy in the forest; no one objects:

“‘Can you guys camp out tonight?’ Vern was looking at us earnestly, excitedly. His eyes looked like raisins pushed into dark circles of sweat ‘I mean, if you tell your folks we’re gonna tent out in my back field?’... Vern Tessio said: ‘You guys want to go see a dead body?’ (pg. 4)”

Book bento object: a skull

Refusal of the call= this is when the hero refuses (or hesitates to accept/semi-refuses) to the call to adventure because of doubts, fears, etc. (this makes the hero more down to Earth).

Gordie’s little group comes up with things they have to think about before they leave (such as their parents) which also hints that some of the boys don’t know how to say they don’t want to go to look at the dead body because they are worried they will be viewed as ’chickens’:

“‘I dunno,’ Vern said, obviously taken aback. ‘Billy will know where I found out [where Ray Brower’s body is]. He’ll beat the living sh*t outta me’... ‘Our folks,’ Teddy said. ‘If we find that kid’s body over in South Harlow tomorrow, they’re gonna know we didn’t spend the night campin out in Vern’s back field.’ (pg. 8)”

Book bento object: a tent

Meeting with the mentor= the hero needs guidance from their mentor so they have a meet up and the mentor gives the hero the confidence to go on the adventure whether that is through a pep talk, a physical object…

Teddy and Chis have a very serious conversation on how what others (specifically the man who works at Castle Rock’s dump, Milo Pressman) say about his father doesn’t define his father which, in the end, motivates everyone to keep going in order to see the body:

“‘[Teddy’s dad] still stormed the beaches at Normandy, right?’ Chris said. [Chris] picked up one of Teddy’s sweaty, grimy hands and patted it.... ‘[Milo Pressman] don’t know nothing about your old man. He don’t know nothin’ but stuff he heard from those rumdums down at the Mellow Tiger.’ (pgs. 34, 35)”

Book bento object: a toy soldier

Crossing the threshold= this is where the hero leaves their ordinary world and crosses into the adventure/quest. The hero may cross this barrier willingly or by force.

Gordie’s group crosses a railroad track out of Castle Rock:

“But in those days there were only three dams on the whole length of the river as it ran across all of New Hampshire and half of Maine… From where we stood on the Castle Rock side, the bulking forest on the Harlow side looked like a different country altogether. The pines and spruces over there were bluish in the heat-haze of the afternoon. (pg. 36)”

Book bento object: a toy train

Tests, allies, enemies= this is where the hero learns the rules of the world where their adventure starts. The hero encounters a series of challenges that allow them to learn who they should hang out with, what they are good at and just get used to the environment in general.

Gordie’s group encounters many obstacles:

Pgs. 41-62

Book bento object: a toy dog, a coffin, the scream mask, black slime (for leeches)

The approach= the step before the ‘big thing’. This is the moment where the hero is about to experience the main ordeal. This allows the audience to understand how big of a deal the big test is.

Gordie really thinks about how significant seeing the body was:

“There’s a high ritual to all fundamental events, the rites of passage, the magic corridor where the change happens. (pg. 63)”

Book bento object: a small door from a doll house

The ordeal= the ordeal may be a dangerous physical test or a deep inner crisis that the hero must face.

This is when they see the body:

“Chris jumped over the side of the washout, his hair already soaked and clinging to his head. I followed. Vern and Teddy came close behind, but Chris and I were first to reach the body of Ray Brower. He was face down… In that split second I knew I never wanted to see a corpse, not even a runover woodchuck. (pg. 66)”

Book bento object: a woodchuck stuffed animal

The reward= this is when the hero is transformed into a new state, emerging as a stronger person through a relationship, knowledge…

Gordie is now a man:

“Lightning forked blue across the sky, making the boy’s single eye light up. You could almost believe he was glad to be found, and found by boys his own age. His torso had swelled up and there was a faint gassy odour about him, like the smell of old farts. I turned away, sure I was going to be sick, but my stomach was dry, hard, steady. I suddenly rammed two fingers down my throat, trying to make myself heave, needing to do it, as if I could sick it up and get rid of it. But my stomach only hitched a little and then was steady again. (pg. 68)”

Book bento object: an image of a thundercloud

The road back= when the hero returns home with the reward and acclaim after the ordeal. There may be a decision of whether or not to stay in the new world versus the old world.

I have no quote of this since it wasn’t mentioned, but you can assume Gordie, Vern, Teddy and Chris would have left if Ace and his buddies hadn’t shown up.

Book bento object: none since there was no quote

The resurrection= the hero MAY have to fight his/her way into the original world.

This is when Gordie and his friends have to fight the older boys for Ray Brower’s body:

“KA-BLAM!... ‘Ace, if you don’t stand still I’m going to shoot you. I swear to God.’ (pg. 70, Chris speaking)”

Book bento object: a fake gun

Return with the elixir= the hero returns to his or her world as a changed person with the reward and/or with a change mentally also.

This is when Gordie returns to his normal life as a changed person (here, it is demonstrated that he has matured because he and his friends are not complaining):

“We got back to Castle Rock a little past five o’clock on Sunday morning, the day before Labour Day. We had walked all night and nobody complained, although we all had blisters and were all ravenously hungry. My head was throbbing with a killer headache, and my legs felt twisted and burning with fatigue. (pg. 76)”

Book bento object: a doll of a man

Thank you so much for reading this week! Also, if you didn’t figure out last week’s book bento guess who, the blog post featured the MUST READ, Tiffany D. Jackson’s Allegedly. I loved reading the book Allegedly, allegedly. Until next time on Evailwrites!

-E.