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Free Study Guide for Something Wicked This Way Comes

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BOOK SUMMARY-SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

CHAPTER 43

Summary

Both Will and Jim see the tattoo of themselves on Dark’s palms as he picks them up. Charles tries to stop him, but Dark crushes his hand, and Charles falls senselessly to the ground. Dark drops the boys, and grabs them by their hair, forcing them to face the street below where their mothers walk. Internally, Will shouts for his mother to run home. It looks for a moment as if she might enter the library, and Dark hopes for the chance to make another suffer, but she turns to leave. Dark seems momentarily defeated. He drags the boys to the front door where the Witch, the Dwarf, and the Skeleton await them. The boys want to yell, but Dark seems to be stopping the sound. The Witch, step-by-step, puts the boys in a dream-like state, making them deaf, mute, and blind. As they all leave, Dark instructs the witch to stop Charles’ heart.

Notes

Evil further defeats good in the chapter when Charles is essentially beaten, and Dark has, for all intensive purposes, captured the boys. Even this evil, though, is not enough for Dark, as he hopes to ruin the entire family by capturing Will’s mother. The dream-like state the boys are placed into at the end of the chapter is symbolic of the Witch’s hypnotic power.


CHAPTER 44

Summary

The Dust Witch comes in the library to find Charles. He lies in pain with his hand when she arrives. She slowly begins to stop his heart, and he despairingly allows it. At the last possible moment, though, he looks at her. He finds some humor in the situation, and begins to giggle. The Witch pulls back, and tries to stop his heart again, but Charles begins maniacally laughing at everything from her appearance, to the insanity of the entire situation. He feels as if she’s tickling him, and he laughs harder. He laughs so hard that he starts to cry, and it metaphorically tears the witch apart. She leaves, and Charles finishes his laugh, and heads out after her.


Notes

Good finally triumphs over evil at the moment of desperation. Charles starts to give in and quietly die, but humor stops him. He first laughs at the Witch’s ugliness, and then the entire situation seems oddly funny. It’s obvious the Witch has never encountered anything like this before, and she cannot cope with humor. Bradbury is clearly commenting on the importance of humor when dealing with life-and-death situations.


PART III

CHAPTER 45

Summary

The boys march in a soundless parade toward the carnival. A few dogs join them, and Will, resisting the drugged state he’s in, hopes the dogs will bark and get the police. The dogs, however, only follow noiselessly along. Will again dares to hope for relief when he sees Mr. Tetley, but Dark is controlling the boys, so they can only turn and smile at him, saying they get a free ride at the carnival. After passing Tetley, Dark speaks quietly to both boys, saying they’ll ride on the carousel. If Cooger doesn’t survive, Jim can be Dark’s new partner. Dark intends to make Will a baby so he cannot tell any of what he knows. Will internally screams, and only the dogs can hear him, for they go yipping off in terror. A policeman comes around the corner, and Will dares to hope, but he is sent further into his drugged state by the Dust Witch, and Dark forces both of the boys to say hello.

Notes

Jim takes better to the drugged state than Will does. Will fights Dark at every turn. Dark, however, is far stronger than Will, as evidenced by the fact that they run into two adults who could save them, but don’t because neither boy can convey the trouble they’re in. Dark’s hideous plan now becomes apparent. It is important to note that it is still highly likely that Jim would follow the plan, as he still wants what Dark has to offer.

 

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