With IT making a return to Derry this September, I thought I’d break down one of the most haunting chapters of the book and give my thoughts on how this element will play into the upcoming movie.
Throughout this article, I’ll be breaking down the case of Adrian Mellon that takes place in the second chapter of the story.
After reading the original work, the chapter on Mellon was pretty much the part that got me hooked on it and I’m sure many will agree that this is a huge section of the story that stays with you long after you put it down.
From here on out I’ll be going over everything that you need to know about the character’s biography, his story and eventual fate.
There will be heavy spoilers here, so if you don’t want to know anything about IT Chapter 2 or the original work then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way let’s get into my breakdown of the case of Adrian Mellon.
Adrian Mellon Explained
The story of Adrian Mellon ironically opens in IT Chapter 2 with Police Chief Andrew Rademacher and Assistant DA Tom Boutillier questioning three suspects who reportedly carried out the murder of a young man.
That man is Adrian Mellon, who after the Canal Days Festival which runs from July The 15th to July 21st was found badly beaten with a huge tear in his armpit. Mellon was a gay man that adored Derry even though he knew there was a vicious undertone to the entire town that was steeped in homophobia.
Mellon and his boyfriend Don had been harassed openly in the streets before by the teens of the town that would eventually come to be there when he died but there was one huge trigger that sent them over the edge and this came in the form of the infamous ‘I <3 Derry Hat’ that he proudly wore during his last day on Earth. This hat and the fact that Mellon was with his boyfriend Don, openly kissing in the street, sent the teens Webby Garton, Steven Bishoff Dubay, and Chris Unwin into a vicious rampage.
Beating on Mellon they eventually threw him over the edge of a bridge into the canal which is where he struggled to swim. We see minor clips of this in the recently released IT Chapter 2 trailer and similar to that first look, Mellon is helped from the water by Pennywise the clown. What we don’t see from the trailer is that after this Pennywise begins to feast on Mellon and he actually the one responsible for his death, though it is the teens that take the fall for it.
The Case Of Pennywise The Clown
During interrogation, they try to tell the Chief and Assistant DA about the clown that they all saw under the bridge and whilst they officers listen, they realize that it’s best not to delve too deeply into the dark side of the town. What’s worse about this story is that Don, Mellon’s boyfriend, too agrees on their story and also witnesses the clown which he tries to tell the two lawmen about.
Unfortunately, the Chief and Assistant DA realise that whilst there could be some legitimacy to the it, if the clown element is introduced to the investigation that it could completely destroy the case should it be put in front of a judge. What the book does expertly is that it tackles the ethical problem that both of these characters are faced with. They do believe that the teens were homophobic and do deserve to do time for the attack, however, they also realise that they could walk free completely if the truth is revealed.
It’s a really gripping read that keeps you turning page after page as readers can easily put themselves in the position of the Chief who has to tackle the moral quandary of whether to put a group of dangerous thugs behind bars even if it’s based on a lie.
What Happens In The End?
In the end Garton, Dubay and Unwin are all convicted of manslaughter and are sentenced to Thomaston State Prison, Shawshank State Prison and South Windham Boys Training Facility respectively. We learn that at the trial there was no mention of a clown from either side and thus the killings carried out by Pennywise are allowed to continue which cements that the Chief fell victim to his own prejudices.
What’s most tragic about the entire ordeal is that we also learn that Mellon had agreed to leave the town with his boyfriend Don though he never got the chance to because of the attack.
The pure storytelling of King is what really sets this apart from the rest and it’s position early on in the storyline lets you know just how dangerous that Pennywise is which makes it an inspired choice. IT is a massive massive book and its length can often be intimidating to those who do not wish to spend so much time reading a story that they will see play out on the big screen relatively soon.
However, I definitely recommend that you pick up the work and read this one, standalone chapter, just to see how gripping it is from beginning to end. It takes us out of the perspective of the loser’s club and gives us the POV of a town official which too highlights the psychology of the town and how it views the attacks on the missing youngsters.
It’s a phenomenal piece and definitely deserves your time and attention.
Obviously, I know there are probably thousands of you out there who have all read IT and no doubt deeply remember this chapter too so make sure you comment below and let me know your thoughts on it as I’d love to see what other people think about it.