Horror: A study on Cliver Barker part 19, The Body Politic

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 138

Welcome to Part 19 of my Study on Clive Barker. Today, we will be looking at story # 17 from his books of Blood, The Body Politic.

The story tells the bizarre tale of Charlie George's hands, and their quest to liberate themselves from the main body. Charlies, feeling something is off about himself, tries to seek help, but things go wrong when his hands take over, kill his wife, then manage to sever 'left' (his left hand) from his body.

Left escapes and goes to the YMCA and convinces other hands to chop themselves off and separate themselves from the main Body. Left gathers a massive army of severed hands -no, I'm not shitting you- and they rush to a hospital, where Charlie has been taken, to liberate his right hand.

Charlie realizes that these walking hands are an abomination and comes up with a plan. He lures them to the top of the Hospital, allows the hands to cover his body, then jumps off the roof. Charles and the rebellious hands fall to their death.

The ending shows a scene elsewhere where one of the side characters fell onto some train tracks and had his legs cut off. His 'legs' -now free- runoff. He's thoughts act as this brilliant ending paragraph:

"And did his eyes envy their [the legs] liberty, he wondered, and was his tongue eager to be out of his mouth, and was every part of him, in its subtle way, preparing to forsake him? He was an alliance only held together by the most tenuous truces. Now, with the precedent set, how long before the next uprising?
Minutes? Years?
He'd wait, heart in mouth, for the fall of Empire. (The Body Politic, page 33)

This is such a brilliant ending. I am beginning to see a pattern in some of Clive Barker's endings where he ends his story on a little Dramatic monologue note. I'd like to see if this type of ending occurs in his other stories (I know the hellbound heart ends with a similar reflective statement.)

This story is more comical than scary but does have some elements to it that I'd like to go over.

1. Charlie sacrifice is what makes him a good hero. Readers like when a Heroes sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

2. The second thing I like about Charle's Sacrifice is when he is falling, he thinks about the fact that his gums won't bleed anymore everytime he brushes. This really shows insight into the character as he doesn't think 'Oh, I am saving the world,' or, "I got these bastards.' No, his final thoughts are, again, comical and very simple, everyday thoughts that normal people would have.

Overall, a fun story.

This ends my look at The Body Politic. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment or a like.

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