What do you think of this descriptive essay on Salem's Lot?

This is a summer assignment, and the task is to write an essay about a character in a book I find most interesting. I picked Mark Petrie in Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Sorry if it's a little long!

"The Schoolboy of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot"

In the sleepy one-horse town of Jerusalem’s Lot, the works of evil have begun in the form of vampirism. Among the six townspeople who join together in hopes of saving the Lot is young Mark Petrie, who easily came to be the most interesting character in the novel. His experiences with the vampires and destruction of the two men behind the town’s corruption make him a major name in ‘Salem’s Lot, written by Stephen King. Additionally, Mark is recognized throughout the story as a perseverant, intelligent boy.

When two men, Richard Straker and Kurt Barlow, come to the Lot for purposes other than building their antique business, strange happenings begin throughout the town. Straker and Barlow purchase the Marsten House, an abandoned mansion looming over Jerusalem’s Lot that once belonged to Hubert Marsten, a hitman in the 1930’s, and his wife Birdie. Barlow, who is truly a vampire, is never seen in public, as he is “away on business affairs”. Soon, the mortality rate in the Lot heightens. Danny Glick is diagnosed with leukemia, and suddenly dies, after his brother Ralphie goes missing. Mark Petrie, a seventh grade schoolboy, joins Ben Mears, a writer; Susan Norton, Ben’s girlfriend; Matt Burke, a high school English teacher; Jimmy Cody, Burke’s doctor; and Father Callahan, a Catholic priest, to save the Lot.

Mark’s experiences and interactions in the story shape him into the intriguing character that he is in ‘Salem’s Lot. Besides being visited by vampires and captured by Straker, he has a number of thrilling adventures in the story. Danny Glick, the first in the Lot to be turned into a vampire by Barlow, visits Mark one night, scratching his window and begging to be let in to play. However, Mark identifies him as a vampire easily and lets him in; he then presses a plastic cross against Danny’s cheek, killing him. After sneaking into the Marsten House with Susan Norton to kill Barlow, Mark is captured by Straker when the two attempt to enter the cellar, while Susan is turned into a vampire. Though he is tightly tied up in Hubert Marsten’s bedroom, Mark breaks free and escapes, running into Straker and shooting him in the forehead. This results in Barlow killing Straker for unsuccessfully following his orders. When Susan visits Mark, she promises him her love and salvation. Mark visits Ben, Susan’s boyfriend, outside his boardinghouse to tell him that Susan is now a vampire and that Straker is dead. Later on, Mark and Jimmy Cody search throughout the Lot for any new vampires, marking their locations with a grease pencil in order to stake them afterward. Additionally, Mark and Ben Mears are the only survivors in their group at the conclusion of the novel. They find and destroy Barlow in the basement of the boardinghouse where Ben lives, set some underbrush on fire to destroy as many of the vampires’ homes as possible, and flee the town. After spending time in various places, including Mexico, they return to ‘Salem’s Lot to resume the battle.

Finally, the character of Mark is a unique one because of his quirky, surprising personality. First and foremost, he is strong and courageous, although it isn’t shown physically. His classmates stereotype him as another weak bookworm, a “queer-boy teacher’s pet” type. However, he wins easily in a fight against Reggie Boddin, a tough bully in his school. Also, Mark is resourceful and smart. He recalls a trick from a book he read about Houdini, which is relaxing completely, and building up the strength to escape slowly and gradually, in order to break free of the tight rope Straker ties him in. Mark’s character interests me because of his background, as well. His parents are very different from him – his father is a serious, educated man, and his mother a practical woman. When Mark tried to tell them about what was occurring in the Lot, they brushed it aside, believing it was another notion from their strange son. Last but not least, he is aggressive and determined, though sometimes he is stubborn. However, I like that his top priority is killing Barlow and his refusal to back down.

In conclusion, the most interesting character in ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, in my opinion, is Mark Petrie. A small band of villagers, Mark one of them, emerges in an effort to end the chaos that arises after business associates Richard Straker and Kurt Barlow buy the Marsten House and the town is terrorized by vampires. Mark has a number of first-hand experiences with the vampires, injuring Straker and killing Barlow along the way. Lastly, Mark’s personality sets him apart from other characters, such as his tendency to be stubborn and how his physical appearance gains him an ad

1 Answer

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Probably need to leave out I's and 'in my opinion' s. Unless your teacher is fine with your using them. Also, read over your second paragraph it needs just a little revision. But it's really good and interesting besides those two things... maybe just the one if you teacher is okay with the I's and my's! Good luck! I hope you do well on it, I'm sure you will!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.