by Eve Vawter
I have rewatched the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie throughout the years and the biggest takeaway I have is that the fearful fundamentalism of Margaret White isn't the enemy. Nor is the telekinetic rage of her daughter Carrie White. Nope. The true evil boogeymen of Carrie are the asshole teenagers, mainly portrayed by a 21-year-old John Travolta and a pre-Blow Out Nancy Allen. The way these teens treated poor Carrie would be enough to make any young girl set the gymnasium on fire.
To bring it back to Margaret White, she may be terrified of sex and the fact her daughter possesses strange powers, but like most other mothers I know, Margaret White is right about everything. On NPR Elizabeth Blair shares this:
The fictional Margaret White is undeniably cruel to her daughter. And yet Peirce says she's always struck by the fact that Margaret is... more or less on target.
"Everything she says is right. She's like, 'They're gonna laugh at you.' She's right. She's like, 'You shouldn't go to prom. You have super powers.' She's right."
Margaret may not be the perfect mother, what with the locking her daughter in a closet and going off about her dirty pillows and all, but at the heart of it she was just trying to protect Carrie. Which is why she is totally worthy of a style guide.
Plus, you have to give Margaret props for how nicely she decorated that punishment closet, what with all the candles and the Jesus pictures and all. At least she made an effort there. Maybe that's why she was too busy to do a deep conditioning treatment.
Margaret is repressed and intense but she is also a wonderful pianist and who knows — it's hard to judge her because none of us have ever had a daughter like Carrie, and maybe if we did we would be locking her in a closet too and making her say "Eve was weak" after she got her period and stuff. OK, so maybe we wouldn't go that far. But I would totally lock PJ Soles as Norma in a closet for being so mean to Carrie and you couldn't stop me.