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The Raft

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Raft” (1982) by Stephen King. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Stephen King ( b.1947) is an American writer. He published his first short story in 1967 in the magazine Startling Mystery Stories. King is one of the most recognized American authors in the horror genre, but he has also written supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels and short stories. Many of his works were adapted to comic books, plays, movies, and tv series. He has written 61 novels, 6 nonfiction books, and approximately 200 short stories. Some of his most popular novels are Salem’s Lot (1975), The Shining (1977), and It (1986). 

Extract

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Symbols

The raft starts by being a symbol of summer and fun activities. However, as the story progresses and the tension grows, the raft becomes a symbol of isolation and danger that cannot be escaped. Once the four have reached the raft, they are already doomed and they cannot go back.

The monster symbolizes danger and the unexpected. Until Randy spots the creature, the plan seems to be going well, and the characters expect to have a good time on the raft and then swim back ashore. However, the creature traps them on the raft and kills them one by one...

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The Raft

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