The novella , 'The body' which is the centre piece of the book , 'Different Seasons' by Stephen King is the story about a mature writer Gorden Lachance who is also a famous horror writer like Stephen King, and his childhood traumatic experience with the body of dead human being. Subtitled 'Fall From Innocence', it is a story about man's search for the meaning of his life. As Stephen King points out 'to the three Ds - death, destruction and destiny where would be without them?', this short novella is about the death and uncertainty of life. It is an autobiographical novel, told by narrator Gordon Lachance. Gordon Lachance looks back on his past and analyzes the events which happened on that labor weekend when he is twelve years old. Why does he look on his past? What is the purpose of looking back? The four main reasons are imposing control over the events which have troubled him for years, rediscovering the lost passion and pleasure of the writing, reliving the past to get some kind of wholeness in his life, and understanding the past in order to get ready for some future mortality. The first reason is imposing control over the events which have troubled him over the years in a new , fictional form and getting a kind of happiness, and dreadful exhilaration. Gordon Lachance's childhood experience with the dead body of Ray Brower is the one that urges him to become a writer. It troubles him over the years. Gordon Lachance's childhood experience with the dead body of Ray Brower is the one that urges him to become a writer. He wants to get rid of the pain and suffering caused by that experience. He finds some kind of pleasure , happiness and exhilaration by controlling those event as a writer. The following remarks of Gordon Lachance prove that the above mentioned reason is true. "But it was the first time I had ever really used the place I knew and the things I felt in a piece of fiction and there was a kind of dreadful exhilaration in seeing things, that had troubled me for years come out in a new form, a form over which I had imposed control." ('Different Seasons', 323)
The second reason for his looking back on his past is to rediscover the lost passion and pleasure of his present writing which is so mechanical. In fact, the older Gordon Lachance is a best selling novelist 'who is more apt to have his paperbacks contracts reviewed than his books' ('Different Seasons', 323). Now , writing is his work. As a busy, famous writer of horror fiction, writing has become boring and mechanical. According to Gordon Lachance, 'The pleasure of writing has diminished. More and more often that guilty , masturbatory pleasure has become associated in his head with the coldly clinical images of artificial insemination ('Different Seasons', 361). So Gordon Lachance wants to rediscover that lost passion and pleasure of the writing.
Reliving the past to get some kind of wholeness in his life is the next reason for his looking back on his past. 'The idea is to go back and confront your childhood, in a sense relive it if you can, so that you can be whole' ('The Stephen King: The art of darkness', 107), Stephen King said in an interview with Douglas E.Winter, who wrote Stephen King: The art of Darkness. As Stephen King points out , maybe Gordon Lachance wants to relive this childhood period which bothers him very much. He wants a wholeness in his life.
The fourth and the last most important reason for his looking back on his past is understanding the past and getting ready for some future mortality. The older, mature Gordon Lachance is a sad, depressed person. He has lost his beloved brother. He lost his childhood friends Chris, Vern and Teddy. All of them have met tragic endings. Even his first experience with the dead body is also the result of a train accident. He awaits his own ending , death. The image of the dead body of Ray Brower still haunts him. When he sees Ray Brower's motionless dead body, he understands the unceraintity of human life: 'The kid was dead. The Kid wasn't sick, the kid wasn't sleepng. the kid wasn't going to get up in the morning anymore. The kid was can't, don't won't , never, shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't' ('Different Seasons', 405). It shows how Gordon Lachance is affected by that memory of his life. As a mature , famous, butdepressed writer, Gordon Lachance wants to understand the past. Also, he wants to get ready for some furure mortality from his understanding of the past. According to Gordon Lachance, the only reason anyone writes stories is so he or she understands the past and get ready for some future mortality.('Different Seasons', 395). In this short piece of his master piece, Stephen King analyzes the meaning of human life. through the character, Gordon Lachance, who is also a famous writer of horror fiction like Stephen King. In fact, 'The Stud City', 'the revenge of Lard ass Hogan' are two of his short stories, published in his college magazines. According to his mother, Stephen King lost his childhood in a train accident.'The Stephen King: The art of darkness', 107). The above mentioned similarities between Stephen King and Gordon Lachance make us to suspect that this is an autobiographical novella of Stephen King. Like the fictional character Gordon Lachance, maybe Stephen King analayzes his own past.
* Page numbers are in reference to the books 'Different Seasons' by Stephen King & 'Stephen King: The art of darkness' by Douglas E.Winter