+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Jake and the Beam Boys

  1. #1
    Gunslinger Apprentice Delah is on a distinguished road Delah's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    67

    Default Jake and the Beam Boys

    Spoilers up to the Battle of Algul Siento:











    In DT 7, Sheemie and the ka-tet all share the same dream where the Beams manifest themselves into the form of a young boy and tell them that the ka-tet must not delay even a single day. What's interesting (and easy to miss) is that while Sheemie is discussing this dream, he tells Jake:

    "He looked like you, young sai, so he did. Close enough to be twim, aye."

    Then in one of the Gunslinger born comics (I don't remember exactly which one, and its packed away) Sheemie sees the Beam boys again after the fall of Gilead, and in the comics the Beam is again represented by a young, blonde haired boy. This, of course, is centuries before Sheemie will ever meet Jake, but the descriptions and views of the Beam boy from the books to the comics are very similar.

    So what is the symbolism of this? Why does King make Jake a dead ringer for the Beams? If its the obvious (The beam, represented by Jake, supporting Roland, representing the Tower) why not include the other members of Roland's ka-tet, past and present, to represent various beams? Why not picture a beam as Eddie or Susannah? Instead, they're all Jake's twins. I would love to hear some ideas on this.

  2. #2
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4,640
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Well, first, I hope you won't mind if I share a little giggle about the title of this thread: don't ya think that "Jake and the Beam Boys" sounds like it could be some alt-rock band?

    Anyroa', you do raise an interesting point to speculate on. And BTW, good job posting to the DT7 spoiler forum. I tend to think that Jake is chosen because of his sacrifices; in particular, his death saving SK. If we start talking here about pre-destination we will open a major can of worms, but I don't think that it is too much of a stretch to suggest that the beam and/or the guardian appreciates future events. At least, that is something else to think on.

  3. #3
    Gunslinger Apprentice Delah is on a distinguished road Delah's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    67

    Default

    That is extremely funny, because I thought the same thing about the title after I posted it. It does sound like the name of a boy band. Mid-World's newest sensation!

    So the beam manifests itself in Jake's form as a cosmic "Thank you" for saving our bacon? Interesting. Although Jake might have appreciated more tangible rewards -- i.e. not getting killed so many times.

    Wading into predestination would certainly open up a new can of worms, as you say, on this topic, but except for your suggestion, that the beams representation of Jake is some sort of cosmic tribute, I don't see how you can avoid it. The fact that the Beams manifest themselves as twins to Jake after the Fall of Gilead -- thousands of years before Jake is born or sets foot in Mid-World and meets Roland or even Sheemie -- would seem to me to signify that this cannot be simply coincidence.

    There are several reasons King could have written it the way he did. He could have done it both give us a visual idea of the beams and to emphasize their role in supporting the Tower. Or he could have done it to hint that ka - and the beams, and the Tower -- had this role in mind for Jake long before Gilead even fell. If the beams have always been twins to Jake, and vice versa, it would seem to indicate that Jake was almost designed or created to fulfill his role.

  4. #4
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4,640
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Well, it’s pretty horrible to think that Jake could have been born so that he could suffer and die, but, in some ways, aren’t we all? If the subject of predestination adds controversy over its various implications, then that might be new to this thread, but it wouldn’t be new to this community. We’ve been debating those for years.
    Anyroa’, however, I guess I didn’t exactly express my view on the beam’s relationship to Jake very well. My point is that the beam does know that what he would like is to not have to die again, and so it is making appeals on his behalf, as well as for its own sake, by way of the appearances of the beam boy.
    It’s very interesting that the driver of the van which hits SK (and Jake) is Sheemie’s twinner. I think that it is entirely possible that Sheemie himself is more pivotal than it may seem in the threat to the Tower. If he had never become a breaker, then things might not have ever gotten so bad, and Jake might not have needed to sacrifice himself. It could be that trying to dissuade Sheemie from his course is the only thing that the beam really can do to try to spare Jake while also keeping its main commitment, to protect the Tower.
    One of the reasons that King wrote it the way he did, IMO, is that he realizes that he can’t hate the idiot who ran him over, personally: DT7 describes the system’s failure in letting that guy keep his driver’s license, and the corrupt society in Algul Siento seems to be a metaphor for such troubles in process. The guardian begs us to resist the temptations with which the CK manipulates us, to overcome the Red sooner rather than later.
    Here, as always, my position is that free will is part of ka.

  5. #5
    Gunslinger Apprentice Delah is on a distinguished road Delah's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Anyroa’, however, I guess I didn’t exactly express my view on the beam’s relationship to Jake very well. My point is that the beam does know that what he would like is to not have to die again, and so it is making appeals on his behalf, as well as for its own sake, by way of the appearances of the beam boy.
    Ah. So less a tribute and more of a foreshadowing/warning/appeal to Jake and the rest of the Tet? That would certainly make sense in DT7, given when we're told about Sheemie's dream, but less so when we "see" the beam in the comic books.

    I think that it is entirely possible that Sheemie himself is more pivotal than it may seem in the threat to the Tower. If he had never become a breaker, then things might not have ever gotten so bad, and Jake might not have needed to sacrifice himself. It could be that trying to dissuade Sheemie from his course is the only thing that the beam really can do to try to spare Jake while also keeping its main commitment, to protect the Tower.
    That's true, but wouldn't it be true for virtually any breaker, especially Ted Brautigan? By that measure, if Ted hadn't run away and than offered to Break willingly (in order to save Bobby Garfield who, conveniently enough, also resembles Jake) than the Beams might not have degenerated so fast. Although, remembering your argument, its actually Sheemie who allows Ted to take his vacation and meet Bobby.

    And again (and not trying to harp on a point here) why Jake? The Beams would want to do what they could to preserve all the ka-tet, in itheir role as the Beams defenders, so why only take Jake's form (or design Jake to take theirs?) Why should the Beams concern themselves more with Jake than with Eddie or Susannah? Eddie also falls defending a Beam, but we don't get any cosmic doppleganger in his case.

    I'm sure Sheemie contributed to the weakness of the Beams and Tower, but I think you could go mad trying to determine the small things that could have prevented Jake's (or anyone's death) in the series. What if Susannah had shot Mordred after he'd been born when she had the chance? What if Jake had spied on the robot's thoughts in DT7 and seen he was hiding Mordred? What if Roland hadn't insisted they stay at Eddie's side till he died? Certainly its interesting to speculate ... and it would be interesting to know if/when the Beam tried to dissuade Sheemie from Breaking. Although Sheemie's "twinning" with the man who hit King does add a little more thought to Sheemie.

  6. #6
    Army of the 12 Monkeys pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle is a glorious beacon of light pathoftheturtle's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4,640
    My Mood
    Stressed
    Country
    Country Flag
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Delah View Post
    ...Certainly its interesting to speculate...
    Yar, it certainly is. That’s why I like this kind of topic. We do get many threads which are basically prosaic questions to which we can give straight answers, but any case asking “Why didn’t SK make ____ happen?” and “What is the symbolism of this?” is just as deeply hypothetical as questions such as whether or not the touch could read a positronic brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delah View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Anyroa’, however, I guess I didn’t exactly express my view on the beam’s relationship to Jake very well. My point is that the beam does know that what he would like is to not have to die again, and so it is making appeals on his behalf, as well as for its own sake, by way of the appearances of the beam boy.
    Ah. So less a tribute and more of a foreshadowing/warning/appeal to Jake and the rest of the Tet? That would certainly make sense in DT7, given when we're told about Sheemie's dream, but less so when we "see" the beam in the comic books. ...
    Well, if you and I are going to go on conversing this way, one of us probably should actually unpack that comic.

    There’s too many examples of Jake appearing at links between other worlds than these for me to casually deny that he himself may be a kind of interdimensional fulcrum, if that is the point that you’re wanting to hear in order to buy into the distinction given to him by the beam. Try to analyze the rhyme and reason of that parachronic implication, and the first question that arises, I think, is whether those examples are all surrounded by so much of an aura of pathos because that really would naturally be upon such a figure of temporal import due to some truth beneath the cosmic mysteries, (either a truth inherent to all existence or one connected only to the fundamental instability of extradimensionalism specifically) or whether that aura is just a contrivance of King’s plots, and further exploited thoughtlessly by Furth and David.
    The idea of alternate possibilities occurring in unseen universes seems to nullify the very concept of unreality. Despite King’s basic romanticism and his clear love of fantasy, I believe that he’s long been entirely cognizant of the horror in that. Our fellow .com-ers might be getting tired of me posing the following questions on practically every DT thread I visit, but I still think that they were very much on SK’s mind as well. My frequently asked questions are: “Do parallel universes really exist?" and “If so, then what is the meaning of life?” Some esoteric force for dramatic integrity might be required counter to the existential void for human values to have prevalence in any cosmology, but I think that the ka of the Dark Tower would be particularly essential if it is or were fact that dreams can come true. Thus, the power of poetry as King developed in It has an increasingly vital role in his magnum opus as it approaches its central collision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delah View Post
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    I think that it is entirely possible that Sheemie himself is more pivotal than it may seem in the threat to the Tower. If he had never become a breaker, then things might not have ever gotten so bad, and Jake might not have needed to sacrifice himself. It could be that trying to dissuade Sheemie from his course is the only thing that the beam really can do to try to spare Jake while also keeping its main commitment, to protect the Tower.
    That's true, but wouldn't it be true for virtually any breaker, especially Ted Brautigan? By that measure, if Ted hadn't run away and than offered to Break willingly (in order to save Bobby Garfield who, conveniently enough, also resembles Jake) than the Beams might not have degenerated so fast. Although, remembering your argument, its actually Sheemie who allows Ted to take his vacation and meet Bobby. ...
    Yeah, poor Ted. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You think that Jake’s decision might show that, if Bobby had known more, then he also would rather have died? Perhaps Ted didn’t do the right thing, after all. Anyhow, yes, on the surface, he seems to be the pivotal one; Ted tells us that his facilitator thing is most important, but Sheemie actually may be more powerful. We’re shown that he can reshape reality directly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delah View Post
    ...Why should the Beams concern themselves more with Jake than with Eddie or Susannah? Eddie also falls defending a Beam, but we don't get any cosmic doppleganger in his case.
    ...Sheemie's "twinning" with the man who hit King does add a little more thought to Sheemie.
    Indeed, that’s my answer. Someone else could take a different view here, but me, I tend to think just that Eddie’s battle was less mystical than “In This Haze of Green and Gold” was -- one step further removed from the magic that seems to determine greater things in SK’s dramas. It makes sense to me plenty for Jake’s death also to stand for Eddie’s death. They’re ka-tet, and Eddie’s fall was the beginning of the end that culminated in Jake’s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delah View Post
    ...I think you could go mad trying to determine the small things that could have prevented Jake's (or anyone's death) in the series. ...
    Too late. (He don’t know me very well, do he?)

  7. #7
    aka lindakins alinda is just really nice alinda is just really nice alinda is just really nice alinda is just really nice alinda's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,342
    My Mood
    In Love
    Gender
    Gender

    Default

    ....great thread , and conversation you guys! Wish I werent so busy
    here at work, I'll try to find it again later.... Very interesting.

    The answer is within

    all matter is energy, all energy is GOD

  8. #8
    Gunslinger Apprentice Delah is on a distinguished road Delah's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Well, if you and I are going to go on conversing this way, one of us probably should actually unpack that comic.
    Interesting that you use the word unpack ... its eerily correct. I'm in the process of moving right now, having sold one house and looking for another. My books are in three different places and I don't have the foggiest clue where that particular comic would be.

    I can tell you that it was the first comic to appear after the actual fall of Gilead; that it included Roland and the survivors (including Sheemie) who experience a beamquake. Sheemie falls into some sort of trance and "sees" the Beams. Are there any lurkers out there who can pinpoint the comic?

    There’s too many examples of Jake appearing at links between other worlds than these for me to casually deny that he himself may be a kind of interdimensional fulcrum, if that is the point that you’re wanting to hear in order to buy into the distinction given to him by the beam.
    While Jake as an interdimensional fulcrum, as you say, is an intriuging idea, and certainly a possibility for the reasoning behind his similarity to the Beams, I certainly don't believe that its the only possible explanation, or even that there is an particular interpretation I would prefer to hear. I believe this is a topic that will never have a clear cut resolution, simply because there is no way to verify whether our speculations are correct.

    I would be inclined to view Roland, obviously, as more of a temporal anamoly. He is the one who claims to have skimmed over centuries, aging to only about fifty years. And while Jake's similarities to the Beams would certainly indicate some sort of distinction that, evidently, is not given to other members of the Tet, I would want to see other examples of this distinctiveness in the narrative or comics before deciding on this particular topic. I believe this is one of the reasons this topic is so interesting to me: it's a throwaway line that no one (in the book) has any reaction to, except at one point Jake himself actually speculates if he himself is the "bloody boy" in Sheemie's dream, but it offers fascinating questions. I personally would like to see some more connection between Jake and the Beams, beyond what any regular gunslinger would have, to verify some sort of special significance between the two of them.

    You think that Jake’s decision might show that, if Bobby had known more, that he also would rather have died? Perhaps Ted didn’t do the right thing, after all.
    Ted's decision (which, of course, masterfully echoes the Roland/Jake and Ben Slightman/Benny Slightman issues) is one where, like its paralells, I believe there is no easy answer. I think Bobby shows us that while, most people want to believe they're good, and heroes, in the end we selfishly cling to what we love and what is familiar. Bobby might want to believe that he would sacrifice his happiness (or even his life) for Ted because he loves him, but in the end he leaves. Bobby might want to believe he's willing to die to save the world, but in the end he doesn't. (And truly, isn't faced with that choice). Even Ted's decision is one that is very morally questionable: in order to save the life (or happiness) of someone he cares about, he agrees to work hard to bring about the end of the world (While at the same time attempting to sabatoge Armageddon with Sheemie and Dinky). I honestly can't say if Ted did the right thing. In the end, of course, Bobby lives and the Tower survives and so do the Beams, but Eddie and Jake still die because the Beam is at such a crucial tipping point because Ted was breaking willingly. Again, the speculation and what ifs of this series could go on eternally. Annoying and yet fascinating at the same time.

    On a slightly different topic, this resemblence between Jake and Bobby was something I personally did not like. While I appreciated the shock value for Ted, I don't believe that Jake is Bobby's twinner simply for the character differences that exist between the two: while Bobby fails his test, to choose the hard road over his own interests, Jake is a character that ultimately succeeds, several times, in putting the interests of the Beams, Tower and cosmos ahead of his own self-preservation. I like Bobby as a character, but I don't believe he can hold a candle to Jake. Of course, Bobby lives, so there's something to say for self-interest.

    is just as deeply hypothetical as questions such as whether or not the touch could read a positronic brain.
    Happily, this question might actually have somewhat of an answer. I think the touch (at least wielded by someone as strong as Jake) does have the ability to read positronic brains. In The Waste Lands, its Jake who figures out Blaine is going to kill them. In Wolves, Jake believes he knows what Andy the robot is thinking/feeling while Jake himself is hiding in the closet, listening to Ben and Andy. And in DT7, Jake knows the robot Nigel is hiding something, but he doesn't want to push into the robot's thoughts because he's so careful about his power. He even tells Roland that the robot was hiding something, and he didn't want to pry, and Roland tells him that soon enough he's going to have to get over his conscience and pry.

    Someone else could take a different view here, but me, I tend to think just that Eddie’s battle was less mystical than “In This Haze of Green and Gold” was -- one step further removed from the magic that seems to determine greater things in SK’s dramas.
    Quick response: I agree certainly that Eddie's death is what destroys the tet: that's spelled out in the book and that Jake's death is the more mystical/magical/cosmic-shaping one. Of course, a lot of this could be that it is Jake's actions that lead to his death that actually save the Tower: Eddie's death and ka-tet helps save the Beams in Algul Siento, but Jake's actions in Maine are, according to King, what ultimately saves the other Beam that must survive to save the Tower. So it could be that Jake himself has less cosmic significance (or no more significance than Eddie) but the effects of his actions have even more significance that Algul Siento's and the freeing of the Breakers. And as interested as I would be to discuss further, (particularly how much you believe the issue of free will influences ka and fate in the series) I'm hungry and its time for lunch.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts