So. The Dome. To his literal readers, the Dome which King created could be likened to an invisible shield covering Chester’s Mill which when rapped with one’s fingers resonates with the same sound one would hear when rapping on an upside down Pyrex bowl.
Or, it could be a symbol for anything which traps a community, a people, a nation. It could be, for example, a dictatorship. Poverty. Prejudice. Sin. (I realize I’m taking it to an esoteric level here, but listen; I could never be content with an interpretation of the Dome as some bowl from my kitchen. Besides, I don’t even own anything made of Pyrex.)
The people under the Dome are trapped. They are caught with limited resources, an evil selectman who longs for power, and their own base tendencies. For some, this means resorting to suicide. Others will turn to violence. Only a few emerge as true leaders who are capable of thinking of others, finding a solution, exercising extreme courage and brilliance in solving the problem.
When I was a little girl, I remember lying in bed at night and thinking, “What if…? What if our world is not the only world? What if I am only one small child in some small corner of an endless array of planets? What if I’m not nearly as important, if no one I know is really as important, as we all suppose we are? And, what if we are at the mercy of an even greater world which spins much more powerfully than our own?” I can’t explain how helpless, how insignificant, I felt when I mentally meandered down that path. But, it’s a place that King takes us, and in so doing causes us to consider the power of kindness. Not doing wrong to one another. Or, at the very least, taking pity.
At the end of the day? I’m glad I read this book. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, you’ll probably love this book.