It seems there was a lot at the end here that happened for nothing.
Abigail sent the 4 men down the road. "one will fall by the wayside". That was Stu. So why even send him? Glen is shot very very quickly after making it to Vegas. What could have been the point of him going? Just to make Flagg feel weak for a moment and to get Lloyd to question his loyalty for a moment? That didn't really amount to too much. Larry and Ralph die in the explosion which could, and likely would have happened whether they were there or not. Essentially the end result, the defeating of Flagg, was all on the trash man and the hand of god. The guys did nothing. Abigail's vision, or the voice of god, or whatever she was getting her stuff from, sent these guys accomplish nothing.
Flagg was losing contol. The journey of The Four was, in essence, part of God's way of setting Flagg up for what happened when Trashy brought his little gift to the party.
Flagg needed to do something to re-assert control and reassure his folowers that this was the case, so he felt that the public executions of the men from Boulder was just the ticket. He brought together all of his people with a few exceptions. Glen's refusal to bow down to him was a means of further undermining his self-confidnece and and then when Trashy did what he did, Flagg's operation (although not Flagg himself) was effectively destroyed.
Stu's function here was to bear witness to the destruction of Flagg's operation to the denizens of Boulder.
So each of the men's fates served a definite purpose to the story.
Hope this helps.
Seems like Trashcan Man was going to do what he did regardless...
[quote]Seems like Trashcan Man was going to do what he did regardless...[quote]
Yes, but the point I was making was that Flagg had summoned almost all of his people to Vegas to witness the deaths of Larry and Ralph and this assured the almost complete destruction of Flagg's operation. Without that 'draw' they would not have been brought together.
God was, in effect, setting Flagg up, and Flagg fell for it.
Why did those people have to die? Just because they were misled by an evil supernatural being? Many of them were all right people, basically. Doesn't seem just.
I can kinda see what you're saying, but innocent people have died in wars throughout history and before. Many more civilians did in WWII than did soldiers.
But, let me ask this if I might. Flagg meant to use many, if not most of those same people in an aggressive military action against the Free Zone. Their intention was to wipe out the Free Zone, so which would you rather have seen? Given this, which was better?
It is either-or. There is no third choice presented in the story.
No idea what you're talking about. Get rid of Flagg and the rest of the problem goes away.
Many of these same 'innocent' people would have taken up arms against the Freee Zone and had their campaign been successful, they would have wiped out Boulder. The book clearly states that this was Flagg's intention. His followers were willing to destroy the people of Boulder, just because Flagg wanted it. They would have been just as 'innocent' due to the fact they were involved in a military action and following the orders of their superiors. Should the Boulder residents not defend themselves against 'innocent' people?
And just how 'innocent' can one be if he or she blindly follows such a creature as Flagg. They were deathly afraid of him even though they chose his dominion over the Free Zone.
Given this, I think that their destruction makes sense.
As for getting rid of Flagg, this would possibly solve the problem, but it couldn't have been done by physical means. Besides, Mother Abagail said in the book that Flagg (the Dark Man, as she called him) served the will of God, and it seems that this was borne out in other books by King.
They were following him only because he was sending them messages in their dreams, making them believe he was some kind of god. Some were evil, or crazy, in their own right, sure, but it appears most were unfairly warped.
Yes; what you say is true, but that is the nature of war. Quite often innocent people get hurt. You seem to feel that innocents getting hurt are too great a risk for war to ever be justified. Is this a fair statement?
Besides, the same argument can be applied to the use of deadly force against enemy soldiers, could it not? Chances are that some, if not most of them, don't want to be in the war either, so shooting them is just as evil as killing the denizens of Las Vegas.
If I am not mistaken, what you are arguing, in essence, is that war is never justified. Is this correct?
Talking about how King is not a good writer, in this case at least.
That's one POV. One that I don't subscribe to. King is sloppy sometimes, yes; but he is a good storyteller.
Personally, I saw nothing wrong with the destruction of Flagg's followers. You disagree and that's fine. We differ on this but do so courteously, unlike a lot of posters where if one disagrees with them, they resort to name-calling and insults.
Thank you and take care.