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Thursday, October 17, 2013

"The Reach" and Its Soundtrack

Catherine Rivera
The Reach - Blog Option 2
In “The Reach” by Stephen King the supernatural comes to life in the form of a ghost.  Stella Flanders is the main character, and her husband George haunts her throughout the story.  She is an older woman, and she often daydreams about her past.  She has a deep fascination and fear of the reach.  The reach is the sea between the island she lives on and the main land beyond.  She has never crossed the reach and even in her old age she remains weary of it.  George comes back as a ghost and he beckons her to join him on the reach.  The following paragraphs contain pieces of songs that have the same superstitious vibe that exists in “The Reach.”

The group The Gun Club wrote a song called “Ghost on the Highway,” and its lyrics can be used to accompany a scene in “The Reach.”  
You're a ghost on the highway

You're like straw and meaningless
 I hate you but I love you

I'll carry that to the end
Oh, you lost on the highway
You're lost on the highway
This song fits with the scene when Stella meets her ghost husband on the frozen reach.  Both the song and the story involve places that contain supernatural beings.  In both pieces the sense of love is suppressed by a feeling of doubt and dread.  There are also references to being lost in both pieces.  The characters are emotionally lost, and they quickly become physically lost as well.  Stella seems to lose her sense of reality when she enters the reach, and she loses her life to the bitter cold.  

In the song “Ghost” by Michael Jackson the ghost that he describes haunts him the way that Stella’s ghost haunts her. 
There's a tappin in the floor
There's a creak behind the door
There's a rocking in the chair
But nobody's sitting there
There's a ghostly smell around
But nobody to be found
This song fits the scenes when George’s ghost haunts Stella, but she cannot prove to anyone that he exists.  Michael says he can hear and smell the ghost, but he lacks physical proof of the ghost’s existence.  Stella knows her husband is no longer alive but she still feels his presents.  George talks to Stella, and he eventually convinces her to take a walk on the reach.  

In both the story “The Reach” and the song by Kid Cudi called “Ghost,” the characters are forced to face their fears of supernatural beings that dwell in dark and unknown places. 
I tried to fight, but soon gave in
Went down a road with no lights on
You should tell a friend and tell a friend to tell a friend
This song fits the scene when Stella tries to fight her urge to cross the reach, but she eventually gives in.  Just like in the song Stella ends up in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold.  She should have told someone that she was leaving her house but maybe she instinctively knew that this would be her last adventure into the unknown.   

Jason Aldean’s song “I Believe in Ghosts” infers that a strong memory can grow into a hallucination.  
Well I'm haunted by a memory
That won't leave or let me go
Call me crazy and I may be
But I believe in ghosts
Is Stella really seeing her husband’s ghost or is she just hallucinating?  Maybe the memory of her husband is causing her to think she can hear his voice.  Stella might be haunted by the memory of her loved one rather than a “ghost.”  In the song Jason is singing about an ex-girl friend who left him.  His song emphasizes how powerful memories can be and that they can lead people to see things that do not exist.  Stella may have wanted to go to the reach all along, so she convinced herself that her ghost husband also wanted her to go the reach.        

Little Big Town’s song “Tornado” describes the weather in the same terrifying way that it is described in “The Reach.”
Thought you'd change the weather
Start a little storm
Make a little rain
But I'm gonna do one better hide the sun until you pray
I'm a tornado looking for a soul to take
This song fits the scene at the end of the story when Stella is overcome by the blizzard, and she dies in the cold.  Stella becomes disoriented late at night on the frozen reach, and she cannot find her way back home.  The weather becomes more than an interesting thing to look at; it become an unnerving force that can easily take people’s lives.  In the song the tornado embodies an angry spirit also looking for souls to take.

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