The Rose

In the Dark Tower series of novels by Stephen King, the Rose takes on many different levels of symbolism.

The rose central to the series is a wild rose that grows in a vacant lot in New York City. This rose, although seeming like an ordinary rose that has grown, despite all odds, in the middle of midtown Manhattan, is unique because it is actually the manifestation of the Dark Tower itself on our plane of existence. Further revelations in the plot of the later novels, particularly Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susannah, seem to indicate that this rose is not merely a representation of the Dark Tower (for such representations must exist on all planes and universes that the Dark Tower touches), but in fact actually a key, door or portal to the actual Dark Tower itself.

In the novels, the hero, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet, must save the rose from the destructive machinations of the Sombra Corporation, which is by extent the influence of the Crimson King in our plane.

Jake Chambers, one of the central characters of the Dark Tower series, discovers the rose while playing hookey from his school shortly before being drawn into Roland’s world. He discloses knowledge of the rose, and his belief that it may in fact be an incarnation of the Tower, to his ka-tet later in the novel The Waste Lands. Roland and the rest of the group later realize the importance of the rose, for if it is destroyed, the Dark Tower itself may be destroyed as well. They embark on a quest to save it as part of their greater quest to locate the Dark Tower and save it from the insidious plots of the Crimson King and his minions, who seek to destroy the Tower and rule over the chaos that will exist when it is gone.

In the novels, Roland and his ka-tet save the Rose by using Susannah’s inheritance from her alternate personality, Odetta Holmes, to found a new company known as the Tet Corporation which purchases the vacant lot and saves the rose from Sombra Corporation’s evil intents.

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