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  • Miss Desjardin
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  • Rita Desjardin is the gym teacher of Carrie White.
  • As the story begins, Rita secretly feels the same disgust everyone at the high school feels for Carrie White at first. However, when she witnesses Carrie being humiliated by the other girls in the locker room after gym class for her hysterical reaction at her first period, she realizes that Carrie is oblivious to what is happening to her, and gains her sympathy. Miss Desjardin wants to punish the girls that taunted her by having them suspended for three days and banned from the upcoming senior prom, but the principal settles on a lesser punishment: a week of boot-camp style detention in the gym; refusing to attend detention will result in suspension from school and banishment from the prom. In Desjardin's view, the only reason the administrators didn't go along with her proposed punishment
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abstract
  • Rita Desjardin is the gym teacher of Carrie White.
  • As the story begins, Rita secretly feels the same disgust everyone at the high school feels for Carrie White at first. However, when she witnesses Carrie being humiliated by the other girls in the locker room after gym class for her hysterical reaction at her first period, she realizes that Carrie is oblivious to what is happening to her, and gains her sympathy. Miss Desjardin wants to punish the girls that taunted her by having them suspended for three days and banned from the upcoming senior prom, but the principal settles on a lesser punishment: a week of boot-camp style detention in the gym; refusing to attend detention will result in suspension from school and banishment from the prom. In Desjardin's view, the only reason the administrators didn't go along with her proposed punishment is that they are all men, and thus didn't really understand just how nasty the girls' behavior had been. Lead bully Chris Hargensen skips the detention and thus is barred from the prom. The principal reprimands Desjardin for cursing at Chris, but stands by her when Chris's lawyer father threatens to sue unless Chris is allowed to attend the prom, unless Desjardin is fired from her job. Meanwhile, another girl who teased Carrie and was punished by Miss Desjardin, Sue Snell, feels remorse for her prior actions and has her boyfriend, Tommy Ross take Carrie to the prom as a way to make amends. At the prom, Miss Desjardin talks with Carrie about her own prom night (her date was several inches shorter than her and how it felt awkward, but remembers it as a beautiful event) and later, congratulates her for being voted Prom Queen. As revenge from being banned from prom, Chris has secretly rigged a cord connected to two buckets hidden above the stage where Carrie and Tommy will sit on the thrones. When Chris pulls it both buckets tip over, drenching them with pigs' blood. Miss Desjardin, who still has traces of dislike towards Carrie, reflexively responds to the prank with general laughter with the others to the extent of ignoring Tommy, whose head was hit by one of the buckets that had fallen, knocking him unconscious and ultimately killing him. However, when she later sees, how Carrie is so humiliated to the point she attempts to run away, Miss Desjardin runs to help Carrie, who pushes her aside with her telekinesis, because she telepathically sees that deep down Miss Desjardin is still laughing. Once outside, Carrie uses her gift to wreak havoc on the school with the intention to kill everyone in the gymnasium, including Miss Desjardin and then leaves for home, destroying the entire town on the way. Miss Desjardin is one of the few survivors of the "Black Prom". Two weeks after the disaster, and with 440 people dead, Rita retires from teaching for good, saying she is consumed with guilt for not doing more to help Carrie and that she would rather commit suicide than teach again. She also implies in her resignation letter, that she is horribly consumed with guilt for having laughed at Carrie at the prom after the cruel prank instead of helping her and Tommy, as she should have, which contributed to the disaster and hundreds of tragic deaths