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Pet Sematary
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Talk about the Novels > Pet Sematary -PG 401 & 402 Interpretation

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message 1: by Alisa (new)

Alisa | 1 comments Please give me you interpretation, I would greatly appreciate it. I am trying to find some solace or resolution upon finishing Pet Sematary. Now I am a mother of a 16 month old so this book was very painful to read at times, but one passage stuck out to me at the end that took me over the edge. I have an old paper copy I bought at the Goodwill store and it is a 1984 printing. The passage is on page 401 & 402. Louis is just about to give the hypo shot to Gage and he sees the many faces; Jud's , Victor's, his own, and the Wendigo's , but then as the shot sets in it appears that his true son Gage returns just in time to realize the pain and horror of what his father has done and cries Daddy!, before falling down to rest for the second and final time.

"Gage got slowly to his feet and began to stagger toward him. Five steps and that strange yellow light in his eyes began to fade. A dozen and it fell to its knees. Now Gage looked at him and for a moment Louis saw his son - his real son- his face unhappy and filled with pain. "Daddy!" he cried, and then fell forward on his face. "

So what is you interpretation. I feel deeply troubled by believing that his son would have returned for a brief moment from whatever rest he was in "heaven" or something of the sort, to see his father in his darkest hour essentially killing his son or the evil embodiment of his son's remains and losing Gage for a second time. Or could it be that Gage's soul was at rest this whole time and unaltered by this event and it was just the evil presence within Gage at the very end that exclaimed Daddy! ?

I am sorry this question was so lengthy….


Kathryn (kcanty313) | 747 comments I read this two years ago, but I will try to give you my opinion from what I remember about that scene.

I think it was Gage's soul was at rest the whole time. I think it was just like you said, the evil presence in Gage at the very end exclaiming, "Daddy!" The reason I say this is because, if I remember correctly, the "new" Gage was evil. I think, and I could be remembering this wrong, but I think there was a mention, or description, about Gage not being the same or even soulless. I was under the impression when I read Pet Sematary, when you came back, your body was the same, but evil had "taken over" or "possessed" you. Whatever you want to call it. That's why when people or animals came back, they did bad things.


message 3: by Squire (last edited Nov 19, 2013 10:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments I agree with Kathryn.

But what is most telling is that Gage's final utterance has an exclamation point (!) after it instead of a question mark (?). That leads me to believe that it was made by a soulless reincarnation. If it had been "Daddy?", that would indicate that the soul of Gage had been resurrected along with his body and he was trying to understand why his daddy hurt him.


Elmarie Santo (ESanto25) | 18 comments Yes I agree. I think it is just the evil presence pretending to be the real Gage.


Rohith R (rohith8193) | 6 comments I actually believe that it was the real Gage at the final moment.
That is the horror aspect of it. It is what drives Louis insane. To watch his own wife killed by his son and then at the last moment the soul or what painful part that remained surfaced in Gage as he was about to die.
You can see King using the same thing in the Shining where Jack just appears for a second near the end after he has cornered Danny. Same thing here i believe.
That increases the sheer terror we experience, it is that final moment that drives Louis mad cause he saw what he has done to his son. The pain he was in.
He did it for love but in the end it brought only pain.
One of Kings strongest and most thought provoking prose is in this book.


message 6: by Shell (last edited Dec 04, 2013 02:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shell (shellcampbell) | 341 comments Okay I just finished reading this a few minutes ago and I hadn't read this thread so it's interesting to reflect on it. My interpretation was that at that final moment it was the real Gage, that in those final moments his soul had been dredged up from wherever it previously was and that he didn't know that he'd ever been dead, that it happened so quickly for Gage that he would have barely comprehended what was happening. It was like he had a few split seconds of being alive again and then it was all over. It was so tragic because Louis got a few seconds of what he had dreamed of, and then it was all over and the aftermath was so much worse than he would ever have imagined... Well that's my take on it :)


Randy Eberle | 92 comments I agree with Rohith


Randy Eberle | 92 comments ...and Michelle


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

My interpretation might disagree from the consensus here but I think at that final moment it wasn't Gage. At first, I thought it was, and it bothered me a lot. Here was Louis, fighting off this creature that now inhabited his son to find out that 'his son' was in there all along and that there had been hope for his son being reborn, and Louis had ruined it.
I think in doing this, this leads into a better understanding on why he might have taken his wife and buried her in the MicMac burial ground after experiencing the horrors of what happens if you do. I think it was actually the Wendigo playing another game with Louis, ultimately ending with Louis repeating the horrible process over again, in hopes for it to 'actually work' this time around.
I dunno, I could be wrong, but I feel like this justifies the strange and bizarre ending of the novel.


Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Lianne wrote: "My interpretation might disagree from the consensus here but I think at that final moment it wasn't Gage. At first, I thought it was, and it bothered me a lot. Here was Louis, fighting off this cre..."

Well said, Lianne. I completely agree.


Cindy | 4 comments I agree with Rohith and Michelle but will go a step further to say that I think Gage was there all along. I read this book so many years ago but this passage always stayed with me. My impression when I read it was that Gage's eyes were filled with pain because of what he'd experienced (while he was inhabited by the Wending) and that Louis had actually, finally freed him.

As I said though, I read it an awfully long time ago. I might have to add it to my growing "re-read list".


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