The Monkey On Your Back Has Climbed Into Your Brain

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The old saying 'you have a monkey on your back' has been taken to a whole new level in The Quick and the Dead.  Ray's character fascinates me.  We know that a terrible accident happened to him when he was a child.  I'm unsure whether the accident occurred at birth or during childhood; I don't believe it was clarified.  We do know that he was in rehab when he was eight for a stroke.  How many small children have strokes?  What causes a stroke in a person so young? 

Ray feels extreme guilt because a disturbed therapist told him that a lab monkey was killed to improve his condition, and now he thinks that a small monkey inhabits his brain and makes him miserable.  It causes him headaches and it doesn't want to be his friend.    

The town where he grew up in Washington State was polluted (60).  The text seems to allude that the cause of his mother's three miscarriages was from pollution.  His illness could have been caused by pollution as well.  The connection would make sense and I can see how he and Alice may eventually bond over this...?  

I feel like Ray's background story is filled with loneliness and despair.  He has no friends, something obviously happened to his family or between he and his family.  His facial deformity is constantly causing him to doubt himself, and he is lacking a few necessary social skills.  The fact that he is always on the move, always running with no apparent short or long term goals in mind make me think that he is trying to escape his past. 

Ray is a strange character whose spontaneity and survival skills are admirable.  I hope that more of his story is revealed, and by the end of the book he finds a place for himself.  However, I don't think that a happy, wrapped-up ending is exactly the angle Williams is writing towards.    

I just want to give a shout-out to Jessica Krehlik because her blog inspired my page about Ray. Check it out! 


This was very useful to me, thanks! When I got to Ray's parts, I think I began to lose focus because he was a new character and I was still thinking about Alice, Corvus, and Annabel.

But I have a question about this blog: why, exactly, do you think that he and Alice could bond because of Ray's background story? I was a little confused.

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