The Self-Inserted Male Anti-Hero in Stephen King’s ‘Misery’ and Ian Fleming’s ‘Moonraker’

The Self-Inserted Male Anti-Hero in Misery and Moonraker

The Self-Inserted Male Anti-Hero in Misery and Moonraker

The antihero is a long-established literary convention, in which a chief character does non hold the normal furnishings of gallantry that you might usually happen in traditional heroes. Antiheros are non idealistic ; they are matter-of-fact ; egoistic alternatively of selfless ; amoral alternatively of moral, and so on. These anti-heroes are non meant to be function theoretical accounts, but are frequently embodiments for the desires and ideals of whomever is composing them, every bit good ; in the instance of Stephen King ‘s horror novel Misery and Ian Fleming ‘s James Bond fresh Moonraker, the characters of James Bond

and Paul Sheldon both carry many similar qualities, peculiarly in their combative, powerA­

based relationships with adult females, and their built-in selfishness. The geographic expedition of their varying

types and looks of maleness and how they relate to the female presences in the novels shows the commonalties of anti-hero literary types ; their allegiance is chiefly to themselves, and they see adult females either as obstructions to be defeated or prizes to be won.

First, in Misery, the chief character or anti-hero is Paul Sheldon, a horror author clearly slackly based on Stephen King. Where Paul writes enigma novels, King writes horror fiction ; both are profoundly connected to the act of composing as a surpassing experience: “ As ever, the singular joyful edgy feeling of a journey begun ” ( King ) . Over the class of the novel, in which Paul meets a crazed fan who threatens force and anguish if she is non given the

results she wants in his novels, reads like a psychotherapeutic incubus sequence from an writer who must cover with his ain masochistic devils sing his fans ( Keesey 53 ) . By composing this novel, Paul is shown to be representative of King ‘s frights of run intoing the outlooks of his fans, and is a manner for him to research this utmost state of affairs in order to accommodate his desire to compose what he wants with his desire to be good received ( Keesey 54 ) .

Second, Ian Fleming ‘s James Bond character is the same manner – an look of the ideal version of himself as a undercover agent, during his clip in Naval Intelligence during World War II ( Pearson, 2011 ) . As Ian Fleming, it is clear in his novels he “ was really making Bond in an effort to guard off a profound mid-life crisis, ” in which he got to see the exciting action he did non acquire to see as a comparatively everyday undercover agent who ne’er got to meet any unsafe state of affairss ( Pearson, 2011 ) . James Bond became the mercantile establishment for Fleming ‘s desires to populate out the life he wanted – a handsome, debonair undercover agent who was able to acquire any adult female he wanted and defeated bad cats on a regular footing. In the instance of Moomaker, Bond himself is fighting to get the better of an evil industrialist named Hugo Drax, who has a projectile he wishes to fire on London. Bond ‘s taciturn, aggressive nature is a manner for Fleming to be the adult male he ever wanted to be.

These characters, despite being the idealised versions of their writers, are far from wholly heroic ; they have many antiheroic elements to them. Paul Sheldon, for case, is a selfish, cowardly and vindictive adult male who vacillates between loving his fans and desiring them to go forth him entirely. During the events of the novel, he plans to kill off the chief character of his popular book series Misery Chastain, because he feels his work is being stifled by holding to make such low popular fiction. He is often a dork to others, acting in a arch manner that puts him at a distance from others- in a manner, Annie Wilkes ‘ imprisonment of him is a effect of that. His accomplishment and belief in his authorship is portion of his hubris: “ if you want me to

take you off, to frighten you or affect you or do you shout or grin, yeah. I can. I can convey it to you and maintain conveying it until you holler uncle. I am able. I CAN ” ( King ) . In many ways, Sheldon represents both an idealized and realistic vision of King ‘s attitudes toward himself- he thinks he is a great author, but is besides profoundly insecure about it and about how egoistic it can be: “ He felt as he ever did when he finished a book-queerly empty, allow down, cognizant that for each small success he had paid a toll of absurdness ” ( King ) . With all of these properties and more, Sheldon ‘s anti-heroic nature is assured ; he reacts defensively, and is basically a victim of

Annie Wilkes ‘ supreme sense of control.

James Bond, while being more of a hero in the traditional sense than Sheldon, is far from virtuous ; he is a womaniser, a hood and a slayer, who shows no compunction for what he does in the service of his responsibility. He drinks to a great extent and takes pills every bit good, rounding out a general list of character traits that should non be moderately emulated by anyone. He is a member of the old guard, an blue blood who enjoys the finer things in life while frequently taking it for granted ; he is ne’er genuinely vulnerable or reticent, merely moving as a finely honed arm for his higher-ups. He really easy uses hocus-pocus and fraudulence to foil his enemies, such as when he basically drugs himself ( a combination of bubbly and Benzedrine ) in order to win a game of span against Drax. All of these tend to be furnishings of the undercover agent genre, but they do move as a power phantasy for

those who read James Bond novels and want to visualize themselves making bad things and acquiring off with it. As these properties are non things that can be moderately called ‘moral, ‘ James Bond qualifies as an anti-hero.

Where these two antiheroic characters converge most easy is in their intervention of adult females ; both characters are philandering bounders who offer small in the manner of stableness or long-run committedness. Romantically, Sheldon is shown to be a failure, with two matrimonies and two

divorces, every bit good as a figure of empty one-night bases that do non convey him greater felicity. His primary relationship in the novel is his combative, Munchausen-like feud with ace fan Annie Wilkes, who imprisons him in her place in order to acquire him to compose for her. Annie acts as a “ mother-figure, ” an infantilizing caretaker who basically breaks Sheldon down until he ca n’t ( or wo n’t ) make anything for himself: “ Paul ‘s wretchedness is Stephen King ‘s masochistic phantasy, a incubus of the male organic structure emasculated, the male mind stripped of its independency ” ( Keesey

54-55 ) . His hostile relationship with her is justified, at least on the surface, by his being kidnapped, tortured and mutilated ; nevertheless, by the terminal of the novel, Sheldon ‘s hocus-pocus of firing the manuscript is a needlessly barbarous manner to get away from his state of affairs, turning it into a direct statement against overbearing adult females in his life. When Sheldon gets to the point of jostling firing pages of his manuscript down Annie ‘s pharynx, it becomes less of a despairing effort to get away than an effort to confirm his sense of male power over a adult female. To that terminal, his eventual flight is bittersweet for anyone who still harbors thoughts that Sheldon is a hero of the standard cast.

In Moonraker, Bond ‘s typical womanizing is slightly hushed thanks to the instead chaste relationship he has with the ‘Bond miss ‘ of this novel, Gala Brand. Throughout the book, Bond inquiries the thought of adult females ‘s lib, believing that adult females should larn to happen hubbies: “ Unless

‘fellow undercover agent Leolia ‘ married shortly, Bond thought for the centesimal clip, or had a lover, her cool air of authorization might easy go spinsterish and she would fall in the ground forces of adult females who had married a calling ” ( Fleming ) . In footings of Gala Brand herself, he spends the whole novel

anticipating to kip with her, but shortly learns at the terminal of the book that she is engaged to person

else in Special Branch ; merely so does he endorse off. It is a instead unusual and antediluvian position of adult females that he holds, and yet another piece of grounds that he, like Sheldon, is antiheroic.

Through the antiheroic features of both Paul Sheldon and James Bond, Stephen King and Ian Fleming are able to infix themselve into a phantasy that allows them to show their ain anxiousnesss in a realistic and psychotherapeutic mode. Sheldon ‘s brushs with Annie, and his defeats with his authorship, mirror King ‘s anxiousness about being taken earnestly by fans, or being able to get away the ‘low-art ‘ nature of his profession. Conversely, Fleming ‘s James Bond allows him to hold the exciting, booze-fuelled, sex-filled life as a undercover agent that he came near to holding but ne’er rather reached. In this manner, the anti-hero is shown to frequently be an look of the dark side of an writer ‘s imaginativeness, leting them to acquire away with things in their imaginativeness they would ne’er woolgather of making in existent life.

Plants Cited

Fleming, Ian. Moonraker. Thomas & A ; Mercer, 1955.

Keesey, Douglas. “ ” Your Legs Must Be Singing Grand Opera ” : Masculinity, Masochism, and

Stephen King ‘s Misery. ” American Imago 59.1 ( 2002 ) : 53-71. King, Stephen. Misery. Viking Books, 1987.

Pearson, John. The Life ofian Fleming. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

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