Bound to the Barriers of Fatal Fascination – Misery by Stephen King Character Analysis

Humans are desirous of numerous things. Money, power, pleasure, satisfaction, and surprisingly, celebrities are all things that lead to obsession. As people focus into these things, the result is utter and blatant madness, and eventually becomes the destruction of themselves and others. In the novel Misery by Stephen King, the mental instability of Annie Wilkes and the imprisonment of Paul Sheldon shows how obsession can lead to the destruction of others. Paul Sheldon was an author famous for his many books about an 18th century woman named Misery Chastain.

The last book of the Misery novels concluded in Paul’s celebratory drinking because he was finally free from writing about the same character. He wanted His drinking caused him to crash his very expensive car during a snowstorm. A woman who was also a former nurse, Annie Wilkes, saved him from freezing and eventually dying in the snowstorm. She took him inside of her home and put IV into his arm and tried to take care of him. She was a true fan of the Misery books and bought the last one.

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When she realized that Misery died at the end of the book, she became an evil witch that tortured Paul and forced him to write another Misery book that brings her back to life. Her obsession with Misery’s character led to the obsession with the author himself. Paul was trapped in Misery’s life; he needed to release himself from having one topic to write about. He knew that it was going to get old one day, and he was feeling as if he could not write about anything else unless he got rid of Misery for good. He was trapped into Misery’s life because the obsessive women that followed Misery’s life provided him with fame and money.

He wanted to start a new novel in order to free himself from Misery Chastain’s grasp. Annie Wilkes was an obsessed fan; however, her obsession was mixed with her insanity, which caused a very dangerous result. Her erratic behavior was well-known to the townspeople, but not to Paul Sheldon. She saved him from that car, and when she realized that he was THE Paul Sheldon, she decided that she would kidnap him. She commanded him to write another novel called Misery’s Return; the book was just for her. Her obsession with Misery deceived her into believing that she had to love the man who wrote the “divine” novels.

Her “love” for him and his books became suffocating. She played on his severe leg injuries and trapped him in her house, hoping that he would love her for saving him and that they could live together happily. Her deranged infatuation deluded her into assuming that Paul wanted to live with her forever. In the end, Paul finished the novel that Annie was dying to read; when she would finish reading the book, she would then kill Paul and then herself. The reason that they could not live together anymore is because Annie had to kill a police officer because he saw and recognized Paul while paying Annie a visit.

Annie wanted to keep Paul forever, but she knew that their time was cut short because the cops will find out that she killed the first officer. The amputations of his leg and thumb, caused by Annie Wilkes’s psychotic (and usually purposeless) temper tantrums, persuaded Paul that he needed to leave before she killed him; in order to leave, he had to kill her, both emotionally and physically. He never allowed her to read the book; he burned the entire work before she could read the ending. He knew that would kill her soul and that it would be a distraction to her while he attacks her.

He eventually killed her and was discovered by cops that wanted to check on Annie’s whereabouts. He was finally free of the torturous “love” Annie provided him with. In conclusion, obsession caused a person to become entrapped in something, and it ultimately resulted in fatality. Annie’s obsession with Paul Sheldon and Misery Chastain led to the “immobility” of Paul and the demise of Annie herself. King was demonstrating how obsessive infatuation annihilates those involved because being overly desirous can seem harmless at first, but it can soon turn hazardous.

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Bound to the Barriers of Fatal Fascination – Misery by Stephen King Character Analysis. (2016, Sep 17). Retrieved from