Friday, February 26, 2010

Allie Wants the Man in Black

Fulfilling her part of their coital bargain, Allie begins to tell Roland the first (but not last) story-within-a-story that characterizes the entire DT series. When Roland puts a hand on her stomach, Allie "starts violently", obviously jittery about the situation ... but it's clearly not Roland she is afraid of.

The Man in Black entered Tull on a windstorm, shaking the town's residents into silent avoidance. His black robe gave him the aura of a religious man, a notion at odds with the crazy grin he wore.

Allie was the only person who noticed him when he first entered Sheb's, the other inhabitants being caught up with Nort's wake, although their treatment of him before his death was not exactly kind. Even the fact that the man was laid out with a sprig of devil-grass serves as kind of a sick joke. This continued cruelty of a man tortured in life weighs heavily on Allie.

Allie's reaction to the Man in Black emphasizes the parallels between the dark man and Roland. She feels a tremendous sexual yearning, although there is a fear mixed into the carnal jolt that is not present when she lays eyes on the gunslinger. As she pours him the "best" whiskey he requests (without even seriously considering giving him the crap she could), he looks directly in her eyes and the pull between her legs grows to a fever pitch. Allie fears her own sexual urges as they apply to the Man in Black, viewing her feelings as a weakness.

When Allie expresses her frustration with the wake (and the attendants' prior treatment of Nort), the Man in Black observes, "It excites them. He's dead. They're not."

Yes, it's fair to say that the Man in Black traffics with death ... and poor Allie does not know how to deal with her own automatic reactions to the power he has, both over her and in general.

Nineteen Followers ;)

How cool is this??????????????????????????????? (I have such a simple mind lol)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Allie: The Adventures of Roland and a Woman

Roland first sees Allie, a once-pretty woman now beaten down by exhaustion and marked by a scar in the middle of her forehead, behind the bar at Sheb's, Tull's honkytonk. He asks if she has meat, and she responds, "Sure," elaborating that it's threaded stock (clearly a lie--one that Roland recognizes, of course) and warning him that it's expensive.

Like the bar's patrons, Allie appears to be resentful of the gold Roland possesses, allowing him to buy three burgers. Allie is cold and distant to the point of rudeness, giving him lumps of salt only at his request (lumps he will unquestionably have to break up with his fingers) and lying to him about whether or not he has bread.

When Roland encounters Nort, the weed-eater, Allie makes "a small moaning sound". After Roland turns over a piece of gold to Nort and realizes that the weed-eater has had some sort of interaction with the Man in Black, the honkytonk empties out; Allie (rightfully) blames Roland for losing a night's worth of business.

When she realizes that she has information about the Man in Black, though, Allie becomes very valuable to Roland. In the universal language that exists between men and women, Allie's anger gives way to "speculation" and "a high wet gleam he had seen before". When Roland does not exactly jump at her implied offer, the gleam is "replaced by hopelessness, by a dumb need that had no mouth."

Allie is a provincial woman who has clearly struggled through life, clawing for everything she has. She is past subtleties and says point blank to Roland, "I guess maybe you know my price. I got an itch I used to be able to take care of, but now I can't." Roland looks at her for a bit, contemplating her offer. What flashes through his mind (that the scar won't show in the dark, that her body is pretty decent, that she'd once been fairly attractive) is completely irrelevant, though ... their subsequent sexual union has been ordered by ka.

The chapter ends with the words, "There was no light to hide their act". What does this mean? Why does King choose to use 'no light' instead of just saying 'darkness'?

And how does Roland's interaction with Allie effectively illustrate his relationships with all women (with the exception of Susan Delgado and possibly Jenna of "The Little Sisters of Eluria")?