Carrie White

Carrie White

"For the former oldest recognized living person, see Carrie C. White."

Carietta "Carrie" White is a fictional character created by Stephen King. She was the main focus of his first published novel entitled "Carrie". She was a troubled teenage girl who had the power of telekinesis.

In every adaptation and portrayal of Carrie, she is shown as an outcast, loathed and taunted by her fellow students and constantly scolded by her religiously-fanatic mother, Margaret White. At the late age of 16, she has her first menstrual period in the showers at school, and is harassed by the other girls. This triggers her telekinetic powers, and sets in motion the disaster that takes place at the high school prom.

Birth: September 21, 1963


In the novel, Carrie was described as being slightly chunky around the middle, with dirty-blonde hair that is long and flat. She had pimples on her neck, back, and buttocks, and was often simply described as being ugly or repulsive. However, she apparently used to be a pretty girl when she was younger.

Her telekinetic powers were always present throughout her life, usually happening in small occurrences during her childhood. She had closed a window and had dangled her own bottle above her crib when she was a baby. However, one main occurrence happened when she was 3 years old, and put under immense stress. After witnessing her teenaged next-door neighbor sunbathing and innocently inquiring about her breasts, Carrie was severely scolded and physically abused by her mother. While inside her house, Carrie brought forth a hail of huge chunks of ice that smashed down on the bungalow. The chunks of ice were followed by a shower of rocks that plummeted onto the property, damaging it heavily while a table was almost sent toppling through the window.

At the age of 16, after many years of the telekinesis remaining dormant, Carrie witnessed another tremendous strain, this time at the school. She was in the shower after PE when she had her first menstrual period. Already an outcast, Carrie was then tormented by her peers, and the telekinesis was tapped into again. Now aware of her power, Carrie began practicing and harnessing the power.

When asked to the prom by Tommy Ross, Carrie attempted to say no, even though she had a crush on him. Eventually, she said yes, and was incredibly nervous, but happy. Her mother attempted to stop Carrie from going, but Carrie insisted on trying to fit in, not wanting to be weird anymore. She made her own dress, and was described as being beautiful once Tommy Ross escorted her to the prom.

There, she gradually came out of her shell, and even made quips and jokes while conversing with other prom-goers. As she was slowly accepted by the crowd, she began to really enjoy herself for once.

1976 film

In the original movie adaptation by Brian De Palma, Carrie was portrayed by Sissy Spacek. Carrie is seen as a shy but beautiful young woman. She has an acne-free face, and reddish-blonde hair that is long and straight, as well as having a small, slim body.

There was no evidence to show that her telekinetic powers were present in her life before, instead only being triggered by her first period. Her first shown telekinetic occurrences included toppling her principal's ashtray in his office, and sending a taunting child swerving off his bike and injuring him. Later, while in her room, she accidentally shatters a mirror that she was looking at, unlocks her door from a distance, and pieces the mirror back together.

When Tommy Ross asks Carrie to the prom, Carrie runs away and hides, but is found by Miss Collins. She comforts Carrie and convinces her that she is pretty, brushing her hair out of her face to reveal her smile. Carrie accepts the invitation, and rebels against her mother's wishes when she throws her mother down against the bed to prevent interference.

At the prom, Carrie is dazzled, and begins having the most wonderful time of her life, climaxing to the point that she is crowned as the Prom Queen, basking in the applause of the crowd of peers.


Carrie was also featured in flashbacks in the to the original 1976 film. Sue Snell was now a high school counselor who was deeply scarred by the events of the prom, being the only survivor. Her attentions are drawn to a student named Rachel Lang, who is exhibiting telekinetic abilities similar to Carrie's. After researching Rachel's past, she finds that she is in fact Carrie's half-sister, her father having left Margaret White for Rachel's mother, Barbara Lang, giving Carrie and Rachel their telekinetic abilities from (their father).

1988 musical

In 1988, the property was adapted into a musical co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Carrie was portrayed by Linzi Hateley in both the London production and the Broadway transfer. Her songs include "And Eve Was Weak," "Evening Prayers" and "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" (duets with Betty Buckley as her mother) and the solos "I'm Not Alone" and "Carrie."

Margaret stabs Carrie on a "white-on-white staircase to heaven" during the song "Carrie (reprise)" in a moment described by one scholar as "the sort of moment Florenz Ziegfeld might have come up with had a lunatic asked him to stage a Grand Guignol version of his "Follies"." [cite book
last =Skal
first =David J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror
publisher =Penguin Books
date =1993
location =
pages =369-70
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0140240020
] Carrie uses her powers to stop Margaret's heart before dying herself.

Linzi Hateley won a Theatre World Award for Best Newcomer for this, her first starring role. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = World Theatre Award Recipients, 1987-88
work =
publisher = World Theatre Awards
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-29
] She recorded the song "Carrie" for her album "Sooner or Later". [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Linzi Hateley recordings
work =
publisher =
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-30
] Official website for "Carrie The Musical" will open in September, 2008 at

2002 television movie

The television portrayal of Carrie was similar to the original novel, with the exception of appearance. She was shown as having brown hair, a pale but clear complexion (although she says that certain foods, such as cake, give her pimples), and a small, slim frame. In this version Angela Bettis plays Carrie.

Like the novel, her telekinetic abilities were present when she was a child, giving only one example: her shower of flaming rocks. Aside from that, her only other telekinetic occurrences happened after her humiliation in the showers at school. However, more examples occurred in this film that never took place in either the original novel or film, such as Carrie's sudden stress in class. After watching Tina Blake, Sue Snell, and Helen Shyres pass notes and stare at Carrie, she falls into a bizarre trance, during which she bends her metal ruler and cracks her desk in half with her mind.

After researching her power, she begins practicing with it, attempting to control and intensify it.

When Tommy Ross asks her to go to the prom with him, she begins stressing right away and tries to run out of the library, but he follows her. When she reluctantly agrees, she begins cheering up slightly. Her mother, on the other hand, is completely against the idea. At dinner, Carrie uses her power against her mother, blocking the doorways after arguing with her and preventing Margaret from storming out. Carrie begins taking control of the situation, standing up for herself for once.

Come prom night, Carrie dons her self-made dress, and sends her mother sliding out of the room when she comes in to interfere. Carrie's stress and paranoia grow to the point that she believes Tommy will not come, lifting everything in the room with her mind. When Tommy knocks on the door, she drops everything, crashing it all down to the floor in nervousness.

As the two of them arrive at the prom, Carrie is greeted with open arms, complimented and accepted by the crowd of students and teachers. She actually begins to enjoy herself, and is even more excited when she is elected Prom Queen. While on stage with Tommy, she drifts off into a daydream in which she and Tommy share the dance, leading to them kissing.

Buckets of blood

Each portrayal of Carrie leads to her climax in enjoyment as she steps up onto the stage and is crowned Queen of the Prom, with Tommy Ross as her King. As the crowd of prom-goers and teachers applaud them, it is then that Chris Hargensen pulls the cord connected to two buckets (only one bucket in the movies) of pig blood. In both the novel and the 1976 film versions, Carrie remains unaware of the buckets until the blood actually splatters down on her, while in the 2002 film version, she happens to look up in time to see the bucket fall, sending the wave of blood down on her and Tommy.

One of the difficulties in staging the musical was that when Carrie was drenched by the blood, it would clog Linzi Hateley's body microphone. Since her song "The Destruction" began almost immediately, there was no time to clear the microphone before it was needed. To solve this problem, an actor was dispatched to daub Hateley's face with stage blood and then invert an empty bucket on her head. [Skal p. 370]

Carrie's fate

Each version of what happens to Carrie and Chamberlain is different, though sharing some similarities.


Perhaps the most destructive of the four variants. In this version, Carrie runs out of the gym as everyone begins laughing at her, with the exception of Miss Desjardin, whom Carrie throws against the wall using her powers. After falling onto the wet lawn outside, Carrie remembers her power and begins scheming, wanting to drench the others.

She uses her mind to close off the main doors as she walks back up to them, peering into the gym through the window. She then notices the sprinkler system that lines the ceiling, and uses her mind to turn them on, remembering at the last minute beforehand that the electric stage equipment is on but continuing anyway with vindictive rage. As the mob of prom-goers begin to panic and crowd against the doors, Carrie watches as one of the students is electrocuted after grabbing the mic on the stage. At that point, she snaps, and watches in cynical happiness as more students and teachers are electrocuted.

The mural in the gym catches on fire after a wave of sparks hits it, and soon, the whole room is ablaze. A few of the students manage to escape, while the rest inevitably burn to death inside as Carrie walks away from the school, stripping the hydrants of their bolts as she goes, leaving them useless. She begins giving off a telepathic broadcast of her emotions and thoughts.

She proceeds through Chamberlain, causing havoc throughout the city as she makes her way home. She brings down telephone lines and unhooks gas pumps, spilling gasoline everywhere before blowing one of the gas stations up. The fire spreads through town while citizens learn that their children are burning to death, eventually resulting in the deaths of many parents as they step on live wires.

Carrie eventually makes it home, where she is greeted by her mother. Her mother tells her the story about how Carrie was conceived through marital rape, and then draws a knife from beneath her dress. She stabs Carrie, and Carrie slows her mother's heart to a stop using her telekinesis. Carrie, now severely wounded, begins making her way back into town, where Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan attempt to run her over with their car. However, Carrie takes control of their car and sends it spinning in circles before slamming it into the side of a roadhouse, killing Chris and Billy.

It is unclear if Carrie was hit by the car or not, or if she simply collapsed from exhaustion or overuse of her powers, but from that point on, Carrie is left dying on the ground by the destroyed car, bleeding from the knife wound. She is found, two hours later, by Sue Snell, Tommy's girlfriend, who invites her into her mind to prove that she was innocent, not wanting to have embarrassed Carrie. After forgiving her, Carrie then dies.

1976 movie

In the first movie version, Carrie remains inside the gym after the blood lands on her. She snaps, and begins hearing her mother's voice saying what she had told her before she left for the prom, "They're all going to laugh at you." Carrie believes everyone is laughing at her, but really only Norma Watson and some boys are. Tommy Ross is rendered unconscious by the bucket hitting him in the head. Completely disillusioned, Carrie uses her mind to slam the doors shut. The laughs die down as the lights above Carrie change, giving off an eerie red tint.

As the students begin to panic, Carrie uses her powers to pull out the emergency fire hose. Turning it on, Carrie then uses it to spray down students attempting to escape, even going so far as to spray Norma into submission and possibly fatality as the high-pressurized water is blasted into her face. Carrie then kills Miss Collins after pushing her against a wall and sending a basketball rafter toppling down on her, crushing her torso against the wall.

Mr. Fromm and Principal Morton take to the mic, but Carrie turns the hose on them, instead hitting the wires and electrocuting Principal Morton. Mr. Fromm is set on fire and stumbles backwards, and his flaming sleeve ignites the mural behind him. The flames spread quickly, and Carrie finally steps down from the stage, walking out of the school as the flames rise behind her, locking the students in to burn. As Sue revealed in the sequel, some survived the havoc, although names were not given. As Carrie begins walking home, Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan attempt to run her over from behind, but one glance from her sends the car toppling and rolling before exploding.

When Carrie makes it home, she first washes herself in the tub before putting on a nightgown. She is greeted by her mother, who literally stabs her in the back and stalks her through the house, almost stabbing her again before Carrie sends a barrage of kitchen utensils flying at her one by one, eventually crucifying her against a doorway, pinning her hands to the beams and sending one last knife spinning into her heart. Carrie then pulls her off of the wall, as her own stress pulls down chunks of the roof, bringing down the house and killing her.

1988 musical

Following the massacre at the high school, Carrie is confronted by her mother, who stabs her. Carrie kills her mother by stopping her heart and dies comforted by Sue.

2002 movie

In the television movie version, Carrie remains inside the gym after the blood lands on her. As the crowd of students begin laughing at her, she uses her mind to slam the doors shut after she sends a wave of energy through the crowd. Tina Blake's date, Kenny, tries to stick his hand through the doors in an attempt to stop them, but Carrie crushes and twists his arm between the doors.

The students begin to panic, and Carrie viciously crushes Tina Blake to death with the basketball backboard, after striking her to the floor with it. As the gym erupts in panic, huge sets of lights begin to shake above the crowds, letting off showers of sparks and falling down to the floor. One set swings and smashes against the mural, igniting it in flames. The fire quickly spreads as the prom-goers panic, crowding at the doors. Miss Desjarden, along with Norma, find an exit route through a vent as the sprinklers above turn on, showering the gym with water. Carrie breaks the pipes lining the walls, leading up to the sprinklers, sending the water gushing out of the broken end, flooding down onto the floor.

Carrie begins walking out as another set of lights swings and smashes into the electric basketball scoreboard. Miss Desjarden hurries a few students into the vents before attempting to crawl in herself, only to be left dangling, just as the scoreboard hits the water-soaked floor. Everyone else is electrocuted as they run along the gym floor, and Carrie walks through the doors, and collapses the entire flaming school as she leaves. She then makes her way through the town, destroying it in a similar fashion to the novel, exploding gas stations and destroying cars. Chris and Billy attempt to run her over, but she instead sends the car flying at a tree, crushing them to death.

Carrie finally makes it home; still wearing her blood-covered prom dress, she steps into a bath and washes herself. Then her mother comes in and attempts to drown her. Carrie responds to this by (telekinetically) stopping her mother's heart, killing her. Afterward, Carrie just lies there, completely submerged in her bath.

Sue finds her later, and manages to revive Carrie. Afterwards, Carrie visits her own grave (she is thought to be dead), as well as her mother's. There, Sue asks her what she is going to do. Carrie decides to head to Florida to help other people who have problems with telekinetic issues.


External links

* [ Official website for "Carrie" the Musical]

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