Carrietta N. "Carrie" White is the title character of Stephen King's novel. A young high school student, Carrie is a shy outcast that is an abused and bullied girl at Ewen High School, raised by her religious and mentally unstable mother, Margaret.
Unseen by everyone, Carrie is gifted with devastating telekinetic and telepathic powers which are set on the loose over her schoolmates, her abusive mother and her entire town, after Carrie is pranked and taunted at her school prom.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Character biography
- 2.1 Childhood
- 2.2 Youth
- 3 Notes
When Estelle talked about Carrie, she mentioned how pretty she was as a child with her blonde hair and deep brown eyes, wearing a homemade, bright yellow dress that went down to her heels and a dark blue headband which she sometimes still wears to fix her hair. However, when she first started getting bullied, she began to become so miserable, empty, and bored that the only thing she could do was to eat a lot of chocolate, pie, cake, and various other sweets.
This ended up causing her to become overweight. Her blonde hair ended up fading into a mousy brown and began to get pimples and blackheads, these were on her face, neck, clustered on her shoulders, back, and all the way down to her buttocks. Her hair was very greasy and became slightly wiry. She was very pale and wore a coat even on warm days, a blouse, knee-length skirts, a slip, a girdle, pettipants, a garter belt, and stockings. Her face was round rather than oval.
She sometimes wore a baggy sweater that concealed her breasts except for the nipples which pressed against it, she also sometimes had her hair in a rather unattractive bun. Her legs were rather pretty, the calves were strong, rounded, and handsome. Carrie sometimes concealed these with heathery knee-socks. Her lips were full and lush, her teeth were naturally white. Carrie had a skirt that fell to a 1958 midshin hem that fell into a clumsy A-line. She had a froggy voice and often said “Ohuh?” when she was tired. She had a tuft of pubic hair, she always smelled sweaty and showed sweat stains under the arms of her blouses.
Carrie was not very athletic and she stubbornly tagged along on biking trips but was never able to catch up and always missed the ball even in kickball and clumsily ran into the net during volleyball. She had a madras skirt that loudly ripped at the crack of her butt and sounded like a fart. She had a long white nightgown when she slept. Carrie’s breasts were milk-white and smooth and rather cold. Her nipples were a light coffee color that were hot and hard and when she tweaked one it made her feel weak and dissolving. She wore plain white cotton underpants and a heavy cotton white bra. One of her pairs were spotted with blood when one of her pads began to wilt. She cried a lot which made her eyes red and socketed from weeping. It is implied she is autistic as when the fire whistle went off she covered her ears and screamed. She only wore cotton and wool. Her prom dress was made of crushed red velvets with Juliet sleeves and a princess waistline. Certain foods suck as cake and pie gave her pimples. It is stated that her powers used her energy reserves making her lose weight, but is also stated she was still worried about getting fatter. She had a special brassiere making her breasts get an uplift leaving the top halves uncovered. She wore high heeled shoes and wore a corsage.
Carrie got pig blood dumped on her covering her completely covered in it. During the Black Prom it is said she looked like a wraith and that she had just gotten out of a car accident. Much of her dress was in tatters and the blood made her resemble a Native American with war paint on. Much of the blood was her own because she had stepped on a beer can cutting her bare feet (she had lost her shoes when she ran out of the school) and the blood had begun to clot and streak and there was a smudge of grease on her forehead. She was stabbed in the shoulder and had the hilt of the knife sticking out through the remainder of the rampage.
Carrie was born on September 21, 1963 on Chamberlain, Maine, to Margaret and Ralph White. Carrie was delivered by Margaret alone, without medical assistance. Margaret first witnessed Carrie's powers when she saw a bottle floating above Carrie in the cradle, and assumed she was a "witch". The baby was almost murdered if not for Ralph's intervention. Ralph would die sometime later at his work, leaving Carrie under Margaret's cares based on her religious (and distorted beliefs). Over the years, Margaret ruled Carrie harshly with repeated threats of damnation, as well as physical/verbal/emotional/mental/terrible abuse.
Aged 3, Carrie saw her neighbor Estelle taking a sunbath at her yard, questioning her womanly figure which according to Margaret were signs of sin. As Estelle talked to her, Margaret appeared and, insane, took/pulled Carrie inside to be mean to her. This caused Carrie to manifest her powers and cause a rain of stones/fireballs and chunks of ice over their bungalow, damaging it heavily while a table was sent toppling through the window/out of the house by Carrie.
Isolated from others, Carrie would grow up a misfit among her schoolmates. Once at lunch, she knelt to pray as instructed by her mother, only to be mocked by the children surrounding her.
Carrie attended Ewen High School and became an unattractive teenager among her classmates. In 1979, at the age of seventeen, Carrie got insulted/mistreated by students/her classmates for missing the ball/losing and had her first menstrual period in the shower of the school gym after a physical education class. Ignorant of menstruation, Carrie believed to be bleeding to her death. Carrie got in trouble when other girls in the locker room wanted to fight, led by the popular students Chris Hargensen and Sue Snell, taunt Carrie and threw tampons and sanitary napkins at her, causing the light bulb above them to explode. Their teacher, Miss Desjardin, intervened and initially berated Carrie for her stupidity, until she noticed, horrified when she realizes that Carrie has no idea what had happened to her.
Calm, Carrie was called into the principal's room after the incident, where Miss Desjardin suggested she could walk home, so she would feel better. Before she left, Carrie, irritated and angry at Principal Grayle constantly calling her "Cassie", throws his ashtray to fell from and off his table with her telekinesis.
Walking home, she was approached and insulted by Tommy Erbert, a 5-year-old neighbor. Carrie telekinetically overturned his bicycle, hurting him. Delighted with the boy's whining, Carrie made her way wondering what would happen her powers manifested whenever she could, and tested her abilities the houses surrounding her, frustrated with the lack of results.
Carrie arrived home and considered changing her body figure and looks herself, to look more similar to Sue or Vicky Hanscom. Looking at her own reflection, Carrie caused her small, cheap mirror to shatter.
Margaret then arrived home, aware of the shower incident as the school had called her at work. Carrie questioned her mother for not telling her about who called/menstruation and told what the girls did to her to her mother, only to be accused of being now taken by the woman's curse by Margaret. Beaten, slapped and kicked by her cold-hearted mother, Carrie told Margaret what girls did to Carrie and it/Carrie caused Margaret to have Carrie in trouble and forcing Carrie to go to the closet and pray, where she should stay in and pray for forgiveness for being taken by the curse. Infuriated, Carrie swore something to Margaret and was dragged inside and locked inside.
Carrie did not stop screaming and prayed until Margaret unlocked her, running desperate to the bathroom. She later used her powers on the sewing machine, scaring Margaret and noticing the fear in her eyes, assuming that Margaret was actually afraid that Carrie could knock the closet's door down.
As Carrie discovers her telekinetic powers, she recalls how they had surfaced throughout her life. She practices her powers in secret, developing strength and control. She also finds that she has some telepathic ability. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, Sue Snell convinces her boyfriend, Tommy to take Carrie out to prom in order to give her, the last chance to fit in. Carrie is suspicious, but accepts his offer. She makes a red velvet gown. Carrie's mother won't hear of her daughter doing anything so "carnal" as attending a school dance, as she believes that sex in any form is sinful—even after marriage. She also reveals that she knows about Carrie's telekinetic power, which she considers to be witchcraft. In their family, she says, the power manifests in alternate generations. Carrie, however, is tired of hearing that everything is a sin: she wants a normal life and sees the prom as a new beginning.
The prom initially goes well for Carrie: Tommy's friends are welcoming, and Tommy finds that he is attracted to her. Chris Hargensen, still furious, devises her own revenge with her boyfriend, Billy Nolan: they fill two buckets with pig's blood, and suspend the buckets over the stage. They rig Carrie's election as prom queen. When Carrie and Tommy take the stage, Chris and Billy pour the buckets onto Carrie's and Tommy's heads. Tommy is knocked unconscious by one of the buckets and dies within minutes; both he and Carrie are drenched in blood. Nearly everyone in attendance, even some of the teachers, laugh at Carrie, who is finally pushed over the edge. She leaves the building in humiliation. She remembers her telekinesis, and wonders how to use it for vengeance. She considers locking all the doors and turning on the sprinklers. She hesitates when she thinks about the electrical equipment for the sound system, but turns on the sprinklers anyway. Watching through a window, she witnesses the deaths of two students and a school official by electrocution. She decides to kill everyone, and causes a massive fire that traps almost everyone inside and destroys the school.
Walking home, she unleashes a wave of destruction on the town of Chamberlain: power lines break; a gas stations explodes. She broadcasts a telepathic message, making the townspeople aware that the carnage was caused by Carrie White, even if they do not know who she is. Carrie returns home to confront her mother, who believes Carrie has been possessed by Satan, and that the only way to save her is to kill her. Carrie's mother tells her that her conception was a result of what may have been marital rape. She stabs Carrie in the shoulder with a kitchen knife, but Carrie kills her by stopping her heart.
Mortally wounded but still alive, Carrie makes her way to the roadhouse where she was conceived. She sees Chris and Billy leaving. After Billy attempts to run her over, she telekinetically takes control of the vehicle and crashes the car, killing them both. Sue Snell, who has been following Carrie's telepathic "broadcast", finds Carrie collapsed in the parking lot. The two have a brief telepathic conversation. Carrie had believed that Sue and Tommy had set her up for the prank, but realizes that Sue is innocent and has never felt real animosity towards her. Carrie forgives her, then dies.
In the final chapter of the novel, the final document in the book is a cheery letter from an Appalachian woman to her sister, talking about her daughter's telekinetic powers and reminiscing about her grandmother, who had similar abilities. This may imply that Carrie was reincarnated into a more loving family with a mother who is more accepting of her and that one day she will be able to have a normal life.
- Carrie's act of making Sue have an abortion can be interpreted as both an act of revenge and a favor.
- As explained in the novel, author Stephen King based this character on two girls he met in real life.
- Carrie's physical description has never been followed in movie adaptations of the book. Both Sissy Spacek and Angela Bettis portrayed her as a skinny teenager. Chloe Grace Moretz was criticized for looking "too good" for the role in comparison to the book, in which Carrie is also bullied for her appearance.
- Linzi Hateley is the only actor to have portrayed Carrie as an overweighted teenager, in the 1988 Broadway musical
- The film adaptations of Carrie give much less emphasis on her vast, yet uncontrollable telepathic abilities. In the novel, it is the reason her role in the Black Prom and the subsequent destruction of Chamberlain is made public.
- She displays no telepathic abilities in the 1976 film. The 2002 version features Carrie and Sue's telepathic link, while Carrie displays extrasensory perception in the 2013 remake.
- In the novel, Carrie's responsibility on the Black Prom massacre and town destruction is made public through the accounts of witnesses affected by her telepathy. The Rage: Carrie 2 establishes that, by extent, people became aware of her role in the original Bates High massacre and destruction, although not through telepathy. The 2002 adaptation also leaves out the public notion that Carrie caused the deaths. Miss Desjardin believes Carrie caused the massacre for having witnessed her telekinesis prior to prom night.
- In the novel, Carrie's angry behavior when massacring her classmates is similar that of her mother. Sissy Spacek's praised portrayal of Carrie is mostly remembered by her in a state of trance when unleashing her powers on her peers. Similarly, Angela Bettis performed the prom scene in state of trance. In both versions, Carrie is not exactly aware of the actions. Chloe Grace Moretz depicted her anger closer to the book, with Carrie in total control during the killings and making her victims aware of it.