Roland & the ladies (Dark Tower)

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Book One: The Gunslinger

(con’t from the last post)

One change King made to the original version of this book is when Roland and the boy Jake are chasing the man in black. They arrive at a pleasant grove and make camp (where they meet the Oracle). Jake says he will get some wood and Roland says “No, you won’t. Sit yourself, Jake.”

He ponders his own statement, wondering who he got that phrase from. In the original version he says “Some woman”. But in the revised version he says:

“Whose phrase had that been? Some woman. Susan? He couldn’t remember.”

(Susan was his first and only true love who died.)

The GunslingerI like this tiny bit of additional information a lot. But in both versions, in only a few words we know that the people in his life, women as well as men, have changed Roland over the years. The people he meets he takes something from, as we all do from the people we meet and get to know. Sometimes what we take are phrases, or maybe a way of talking, or even personality traits (at least we can try). Roland’s life has involved mostly men and fighting and masculine stuff, but the women have shaped him too.

Speaking of women in this book, I find it a bit strange that two of the three female characters are nymphomaniacs (and the third is a hugely fat female cult leader whose flabby arms make Roland’s loins quiver).

Allie in Tull wanted him desperately. Not that it needed to be him necessarily to satisfy her needs – she was also desperately attracted to the man in black.

The Oracle, a female demonic force, also begs Roland to give over his body to her for sexual purposes. Both of these female characters were lonely and seemed to need to fill that loneliness with sex. Not an uncommon occurrence I suppose, but in this case it’s a recurring theme. Undoubtedly Roland has a sensuous carelessness about him, but if we were to judge the females of Roland’s world on the female characters in this book they are mostly nymphomaniacs!

Come to think of it, Roland is a pretty sexual creature. Maybe he just brings it out in the ladies.

More on The Gunslinger in the next post.

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