The Body is a novella by American writer Stephen King, originally published in his 1982 collection Different Seasons and adapted into the 1986 film Stand by Me. Some changes were made to the plot of the film, including changing the setting year from 1960 to 1959 and the location of Castle Rock from Maine to Oregon.
The story takes place during the summer of 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. After a boy from Chamberlain, Maine, named Ray Brower disappears and is presumed dead, twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio set out "on a quest" to find his body along the railway tracks after telling their parents they will be camping out because they consider it to be a "rite of passage." "Because they are young, the idea of finding the body excites them, making this trip an adventure." During the course of their journey, the boys, who all come from abusive or dysfunctional families, come to grips with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that does not seem to offer them much in the way of a future. "It is not until they actually see the boy's body that they finally confront the reality of death.""The kid was dead. The kid wasn't sick, the kid wasn't sleeping. The kid wasn't going to get up in the morning anymore ... or catch poison ivy or wear out the eraser on the end of his Ticonderoga No 2 during a hard math test. The kid was dead."In comparison to King's prior works, the narrative of The Body is complicated in that it is told in first-person point of view by the now adult Gordon Lachance. Most of the story is a straightforward retrospective of what happened, but comments, or entire chapters that relate to the present time, are interspersed throughout. Although he is only 12 at the time of the story, Gordie's favorite diversion is writing and storytelling. During the narrative, he tells stories to his friends, and two stories are presented in the text as short stories by Gordon Lachance, complete with attribution to the magazines in which they were published.
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