3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
THE PENCHANT FOR EVIL WITHIN ALL OF US,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Exorcist (Audio Cassette)
THE EXORCIST, is more than just a "good, scary read." The superficial reader will only react to the physical effects of Reagan's possession. The reader who is more aware of his/her spiritual side will realize just how terrifying this story is. I have read THE EXORCIST several times, and I find myself discovering deeper levels of the theme in each reading. The most obvious level, of course, is the basic plot for which Reagan becomes possessed by an ancient demon, who will eventually physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually torture everyone involved in the quest to rescue her. A more deeper theme to the story is Father Karras' struggle with faith. As a reader, I clearly see Karras slipping away from the grace which is faith, yet what is even more terrifying is that I can understand and relate to the same distancing of my belief in something greater than myself. William Peter Blattey ingeniously uses a terrifying backdrop such as the demonic possession of an innocent young girl to convey the importance of keeping one's faith in God and the goodness for which God stands for. Simply put, Blattey, through his raw and terrifying portrayal of Reagan's possession and consequent exorcism, forces us to choose between carnality and spirituality, disbelief and belief, good and evil--for most of us, the choice is evident. Perhaps the most profound theme in THE EXORCIST is the evidence of evil in the world even without demonic possession. At one point in the novel, Pazzuzu talks to Karras about how easy it is for evil to thrive in the world. Apart from demonic possession, murder, rape, and other violent crimes, evil exists in more subtle forms such as passing someone homeless on the street or simply not treating another human being as you yourself would be treated. Basically, a young girl's demonic possession is just another form of evidence to prove the existence of evil. What people should be most terrified of, however, are the forms of evil that they can do something about, but are unwilling to amend. Read this novel. You'll be a better person for it.