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[IT chapters 1 & 2] The first film makes it seem like only children can see this clown, chapter 2, it’s apparent that adults can indeed see pennywise. But then there’s parts where other adults don’t notice him. Why are the losers seemingly the grown ups who can see the clown?

[IT chapters 1 & 2] The first film makes it seem like only children can see this clown, chapter 2, it’s apparent that adults can indeed see pennywise. But then there’s parts where other adults don’t notice him. Why are the losers seemingly the grown ups who can see the clown?

Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

Generally It arranges things so that adults don't notice (or actively ignore) It's activities. This means It's targets are more isolated and easy to nab. The Losers can still perceive It because they've all been marked by It's activities personally; even then, they have difficulty remembering anything about the encounter, so their perceptions are still disrupted. Pennywise targets kids because it's easier to manifest a kid's fears. Adult fears are usually lame stuff like mortgage payments, not so much with the rending claws and gnashing teeth.


PoeJascoe

I just meant that if you present an adult with that kind of stuff, the adult would still react to It.


_LongLongMan

If you showed up as a werewolf to an adult, the adult would be more willing to hit the werewolf in the face with something heavy than a kid, who'd try to free or fall into Pennywise's fear thing and get eaten. Since it's the person's belief that they can damage IT that actually grants them the power to damage IT (Eddie spraying him with the aspirator and saying it's battery acid, then IT recoiling in pain, for instance), an adult swinging a toilet lid into your IT's face might actually hurt it easier than a kid would. I belief that despiste taste, adults in general are tricker to prey upon for IT. As an analogy, think of it like going hand-fishing for crabs. You can go for the angry one with huge pincers that try to fight back, or you can go for the defenseless red ones that just try to hide. Sure, you can overpower the crab easily, but you still don't wanna risk getting pinched.


Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

Kitty Genovese begs to differ (although to be fair there were several factors around the case of Ms. Genovese that led the neighbors not to fully process what was happening; it's not like they knew what was going on and completely chose to ignore it)


parrmorgan

I request elaboration. Who is Kitty Genovese? EDIT: WATCHMEN reference? I don't remember her from the movie, and I still need to watch the show on HBO.


Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

Kitty Genovese is a woman who died in New York. The case became famous because of the belief that her neighbors heard what was happening and didn't come to help her. (it's a bit more complicated than that, but there you are) The case was cited in Watchmen as one of the things that caused Rorschach to lose his faith in humanity; he met Genovese before she died and was highly embittered about the whole thing


parrmorgan

Good explanation. Thank you for taking the time to clear that up for me.


Citizen_Graves

I am a simple man. I see a Watchman quote, I upvote.


LibraryLass

[Kitty Genovese was an actual person.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese) Honestly, if Rorschach actually knew anything about her, I think his reaction might have been very different, she was gay, Catholic, and a bookie.


Citizen_Graves

I said I was a simple man.


arachnidtree

if some clown climbs out of a sewer and starts yelling at me that the last mortgage payment bounced and that I am behind ... I WILL LOSE MY SHIT


Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

Yeah. I hate banking with Wells Fargo too.


thomascgalvin

Children's fears are more primal, and thus more delicious. Turning into a clown with a gaping, fang-filled maw is *tasty* for Pennywise; turning into the existential dread of spending the next forty years working a dead-end job for a boss you hate, not so much. Previously, It *did* target adults: more than 300 of the the original settlers disappeared; Confederate sympathizers mass-murdered more than 10 people in 1864, hitting about half adults and half children; more than 100 people were killed in the Ironworks explosion; and so on. It *can* target and feed on adults, but It prefers children, and as time progressed, It began to target children more frequently, and then almost exclusively. This indicates that children are an acquired taste for Pennywise, not some natural predilection or need. It also shows that It's tastes moved from the wrath and violence It provoked in adults, to the fear and dread It provoked in children. Pennywise exudes a psychic aura that pervades all of Derry, making the children more vulnerable to fear, and the adults less likely to leave, less likely to notice that anything is wrong, and less likely to act if they *do* see that something is wrong. Derry leads the country in child deaths and disappearances, but nobody in Derry is able to see through Pennywise' mental fog to do something about it. As for the Losers Club, they were the only people in Its history to deal It a defeat. It wanted revenge, and It probably wanted to prove to Itself that it was still the "destroyer of worlds," an inexorable, irresistible force of destruction from the todash spaces. But Pennywise responds physically to the thoughts of mortals. In the same way that primal fears make children delicious, the Loser's belief that Pennywise was small and insignificant made him vulnerable.


JediGuyB

I imagine that adults used to be easier to hunt and strike fear into because of stronger religious ties in the past. Nowadays most adults don't fear witches, demons, ghosts, or other supernatural entities. They don't have that irrational fear they once did ingrained in them. There are high numbers of adults going missing too, so Pennywise is still killing adults, it's just that he prefers kids since they still have that irrational fear he can more easily take advantage of.


Rahgahnah

Exactly. It's pride and ego were heavily wounded after Chapter 1, It just did a decent job of hiding it for most of Chapter 2. It wouldn't have messed with the adult Losers Club if It didn't hold a grudge against them.


PoeJascoe

So almost a boggart?


thomascgalvin

A boggart is very much a lesser version of the Pennywise archetype. Though Pennywise *does* eat the flesh, not just the fear.


Canuckleball

I'm pretty sure boggarts will also kill and eat their victims if they encounter them in the wild. Edit: I confused them with a different creature apparently boggarts are "non beings"


termsofsurrender

I think there's ~~also a subtext of~~ complicity for the adults where they tolerate a certain amount of... culling. Reminds me of, oh, the original *Nightmare On Elm Street* and the *Star Trek: Voyager* episode "Child's Play".


Resolute002

The book explains this explicitly. They know it goes away after a few meals for many years. This is why the adults don't really do anything.


termsofsurrender

Thank you. I'll correct my comment.


saveyboy

Seems to me if he wants you to see him you will. Otherwise he’s just a ghost on your peripheral vision.


Taluca_me

You really should watch the film closely, It literally has hallucinating powers. Therefore It can make itself invisible to others but not to kids and the grown up Losers Club


cavalier78

Pennywise takes on the abilities and vulnerabilities of the form he assumes. If he becomes a werewolf, then silver bullets can kill him. If he becomes a vampire, then crosses can hurt him. He gains his power from your fear. If you aren't afraid, if you don't *believe*, he can't really do that much to you. So he takes the form of something you're afraid of and uses that to kill you. Kids are afraid of monsters. Adults tend to be more afraid of things like "does my wife still love me", or "is my career at a dead end". Of course, *everybody* is afraid of a big guy with a chainsaw, so Pennywise can still kill adults. But if Pennywise takes a form like that, he's gonna be vulnerable to mundane things like gunshots. In the novel, he breaks Henry Bowers out of the insane asylum. There's a mean guard who likes to beat the patients, and the guy is afraid of dogs. Pennywise takes the form of a huge dog and kills the guard. Theoretically if somebody walked in with a shotgun at that point, they could have blown IT away and IT would be dead. At one point in the book, Pennywise appears to adult Richie Tozier and threatens to give him testicular cancer. Richie realizes that Pennywise can actually do it. It's clearly something Richie is afraid of, probably something he had worried about for years. Cancer isn't a fast killer though, and not really Pennywise's style. I remember being a kid. I remember being afraid of irrational things, like thinking a shark might be in a swimming pool, or there could be a monster under the bed. Those are the kinds of things that are easy for Pennywise to take advantage of. Adults still have fears like that a bit -- if you go down into a creepy dark basement, your imagination might play tricks on you. You might imagine for a moment that there's something slimy and horrifying over in the corner where you can't quite see. And then if you heard something breathing over there, and heard a clearly inhuman sound, you'd probably *believe*. That's likely going to be enough for Pennywise to come get you. And if IT busts out of that corner of the basement looking like the monster from ALIEN... well then you're in a lot of trouble. The thing is, adults have fears like that far, far less than children do. They don't feel the fear as intensely. They're too rational. There's still a good chance you're gonna think that Alien is just your neighbor Carl in a rubber suit. Or it's *somebody* in a rubber suit. You're gonna try to bash that bastard's head in with the flashlight you're carrying. A kid, on the other hand, will believe that he's really being attacked by the monster from the movie. While the adult may understand he's in great danger, the kid will totally think it's the real monster. This makes Pennywise's job a lot easier.


FallOutFan01

Psychic field permeating the entire town and it’s citizens creating a perception filter. Perception filter in action. * https://youtu.be/zUFzK00lD8w * https://youtu.be/cxse7aXlSng Only it’s not a low level perception filter but a high one that makes people completely apathetic to certain things and completely ignore things right in their faces. The things that IT creates aren’t hallucinations, they are in fact very well, IT warps reality as it pleases, eating who it wants including adults. It just thinks kids are delicious and goes after them. IT created the town, people were drawn to its location in return the town is its feeding ground.