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Thread: Reconsidering DT1

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    Default Reconsidering DT1

    Once you had finished Wizard and Glass, did your feelings about The Gunslinger change?

    I think that it is clear that Stephen King meant to make the character of Roland more sympathetic with this story. If anyone disagrees, feel free to say so, and please let us know what your own outlook on the character was. However, what I am primarily asking about is how many of us who do believe that this was the authorís intention was he successful with. Did you get more understanding of the gunslingerís beliefs and behavior?

    If not, then do you think it's conceivable that learning more about the still missing chapters of his past (e.g. from comics or from more revising of novels) could clarify remaining questions, or are some of you of the opinion that his attitude and the decisions which he made early in the story will never make much sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Once you had finished Wizard and Glass, did your feelings about The Gunslinger change?
    Yes. I admired how King managed to tell us so much about Roland as a young boy and the process of his development in a few short flashbacks; I might not have thought about that if later it wasn't set against the endlessly long, and mostly pointless, W&G. The Gunslinger was multum in parvo, while W&G, if you pardon the expression, parvum in multo - so it helped me greatly to better appreciate The Gunslinger and somewhat improve my otherwise low opinion of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Once you had finished Wizard and Glass, did your feelings about The Gunslinger change?
    Actually I think Roland became a real human being in my eyes after I had finished W&G. It's one of the many reasons I love this book so much.

    Roland would have understood.

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    I think this story did lend some humanity to Roland, but it also showed us the beginning of the end of his humanity also. I really felt THAT was the point of the story as I felt like Roland had regained his humanity in The Waste Lands.
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    I tend to agree that Sk's intent, or a major part of it, in writing W&G was to give us a lot of insight into Roland, thereby giving us the option of understanding him and being more sympathetic to him.
    Certainly it worked for me I think - though I loved The Gunslinger before ever I read W&G, I probably felt I understood him better after.
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    I think that W & G gave me a few insights into Rolands psyche. First, that he is not only the stolid, unwavering character that is portrayed in The Gunslinger. He actually is susceptable to human emotion. This made me love Roland a little more than before. I kind of hated him for Jake in the first book. However, this book reinforced the idea that Roland would indeed foresake all others in his blind pursuit of his goals. His immediate goal being Susan, and ultimate goal being of course The Tower. So, DT4 made me do an about face with Roland as to his emotional being, then brought me back again full circle by the end. I would have this same feeling several times throughout the series, with Roland alternately showing compassion and staunch loyalty for his Ka-tet, then almost indifference in his obtuse pursuit of the Tower. This kind of sums up my Love/Hate relationship with Roland.

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    Good answers; each one interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    I think this story did lend some humanity to Roland, but it also showed us the beginning of the end of his humanity also. I really felt THAT was the point of the story as I felt like Roland had regained his humanity in The Waste Lands.
    That's possible, I guess. Something like that certainly seems to be PART of the point, anyway, based on the "REDEMPTION" subtitle for that volume. I think that under your interpretation, it would be just as important as it would be under others to be able to understand what made him "inhuman" and maybe even to sympathize with him in his fall. Hmm.

    Soon as I can, I'll try to post my own idea about this. Thanks for all input, guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Once you had finished Wizard and Glass, did your feelings about The Gunslinger change?
    Somewhat, I guess it did put a bit more of a human face to Roland. I didn't really need one. He was obviously a hero and the back story isn't really all that important to me. What was important was the tragedy in the story and King absolutely nailed it! All of the very best hero's love and lose and Roland is no different. What seems really fitting too is the fact that it happened to him at such a young age.



    However, what I am primarily asking about is how many of us who do believe that this was the authorís intention was he successful with. Did you get more understanding of the gunslingerís beliefs and behavior?
    Intentions? Maybe, I don't know. Getting inside King's mind is a pretty tricky proposition. I've read a fair amount of his stuff and I'm pretty sure I have no idea what his intentions were. I do know I've read and re-read his afterwords from Wizard and Glass several times and in his own words he admits he almost never wrote the book. He states pretty clearly too that he knew he was going to have to go back to Roland's past so perhaps it was his intention after all to put a more human face to our hero. But yeah, it did help me delve deeper into Roland's mind and for me that was pure bliss. I understand how driven he was and I understand his pain so mischief managed if that's what King was trying to do.
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    Ka strikes me again. I just posted in another thread that as I have immersed myself in this series (just finished WG), they announce they are making the movie/tv series. Because I dont have my hands on the next book #8.. Or #5 yet. I started reading #1 again as I had the exact same thought that this thread is based on. I am going to read #1 again tonight and tomorrow so that I can hopefully gain a better grasp on what King was intending when writing WG. My assumption based on first read is that WG was partially intended to show Roland's softer side. it is an epic journey as they say and with most journeys as such the main character must first lose something before he can fully appreciate what his end goal is. Obviously Roland being a Gunslinger knows what he needs to do and has a laser like focus on it but toward the end of WG he states to his KaTet after telling his tale that he feels human again for the first time and feels love again for the first time. He gives them an out and says he would understand. This is when Eddie, Susannah, and Jake all state that they have no intention of going home as their home is the way of the path now. I think is the point where the rest of the Ka Tet shows that they are just as committed as Roland, and that their tribulations have only made them more committed. I also believe that it was King's intention to bring Roland to breaking point, only to have fait/ka, bring the other three to him so that his journey could continue. Obviously having not read the remainder of the series and not knowing what happens next my assumptions could be way off. Needless to say I have been consumed by the Dark Tower and their journey for the past few months as I have been reading and will continue to be until a few months after I finish reading.

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