What's The Work

Patrick Hockstetter is a major antagonist in Stephen King's book It as well as the 2017-19 film duology of the same name. He is a member of the Bowers Gang and is often cited as the most dangerous member of said group.

He was portrayed by Owen Teague in the films.

Who is the Candidate? What They Did?

Patrick was a deeply disturbed young man who fell under the illusion that he was the only real human being in the world (solipsism). He expresses this delusion when he kills his baby brother, Avery, at the age of five out of the fear of being replaced.

As a child, Patrick and his family go swimming in a lake, and he develops a fear of leeches after several of them attach themselves to him.

As a student attending Derry Elementary School, Patrick develops a reputation for being creepy due to his habit of keeping dead flies in his pencil box, and female students stop sitting in front of him due to his tendency of groping them.

Patrick, deeply sadistic, kept the corpses of animals he killed in a refrigerator down at the junkyard, the animals being strays or pets stolen from people's homes that he starved to death in the fridge for both his own amusement and sexual gratification.

It is implied that IT uses its powers to prevent people from discovering the fridge, as the day Patrick found it in the town junkyard was the day Georgie Denbrough was killed by It.

Some time before the events of the July of 1958, Henry Bowers finds out about the fridge and the animals.

Patrick is present when Henry breaks Eddie Kaspbrak's arm, and he spits in the latter's face when he is on the ground in pain.

Later, Patrick and the rest of the Bowers Gang wind up in the junkyard lighting their farts on fire for fun. After a while, Vic and Belch both leave to tend to different responsibilities, and shortly afterward, Patrick gives Henry Bowers a handjob and offers to give him oral sex, to which Henry replies by punching him in the face out of disgust and anger.

Henry then threatens to tell the police about Patrick's animals if the latter tells anyone about their sexual encounter and leaves.

Patrick, now spooked that Henry may really get the police after him, goes down to the fridge to dispose of the animals and clean it out, but is attacked by IT in the form of flying leeches once he opens the fridge, his worst (and likely only) fear.

Because of the attack, Patrick passes out from blood loss, and he wakes up in the sewers, the last thing he sees being Pennywise/IT eating him.

When the Losers Club enters the sewers, they find what was left of Patrick's corpse.

In 1985, Patrick Hockstetter appears as one of It's manifestations to frighten Eddie Kaspbrak. When the Losers Club enters the sewers again, they find Patrick's corpse for the second time.

What they did

  • He kills his little brother Avery by suffocating him in his cradle. He carries out this assassination because he is frightened by the idea that the child can be "real" as he is, thus going to break his pathological belief that he is the only human being in the world.
  • He feels an intense pleasure in the act of killing: the murder of his little brother galvanizes him to the point of making him want to repeat the same act in the future to come. Not being able to do it towards other human beings, he does it towards animals, towards which he shows particular cruelty: he kills flies with his ruler (keeping the little bodies inside his pencil case), in a passage of the book he enjoys playing with a cat hit by a car but still alive and dying and, after discovering a refrigerator thrown in the Barrens landfill, he uses it to kill other animals, closing them inside and making them die of starvation. After killing a young cocker spaniel, Patrick laughs to see the saliva of the dead dog frozen on his muzzle due to the winter cold.
  • He has very pronounced sexual perversions towards girls and boys: he often stretches his hands on the girls feeling their breasts, masturbates Henry Bowers and offers him to have oral sex. On some occasions when he kills animals, he has erections.
  • He bullies less violently than Henry, but certainly more subtle. You never see him raise his hands on any of the Losers but, after Henry's beating against Eddie Kaspbrak, he spits in his face while the boy is lying on the ground and helpless.
  • Due to his solipsism, he is, together with Henry, the only bully who is not afraid of adults.
  • It seems to arouse fear and discomfort even in adults: his father briefly suspects that Patrick may have killed Avery, but decides not to investigate the matter further, while Beverly Marsh speculates that their teacher, Mrs. Douglas may have been afraid of Patrick.
  • He feels no remorse for his actions. Think of bad deeds as a beautiful thing, arguing that the only thing wrong is being caught doing it.

Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors

His mental illness, which perhaps could "justify" part of his evil deeds. Even if, despite this, he is absolutely aware of doing evil and he tries to do it.

Heinous Standard

Definitely fratricide, cruelty to animals and the pleasure of carrying out torture and killing.

Final Verdict

Despite his young age, Patrick demonstrates a particularly high standard of bad deeds, compared to his peers and even compared to some adults. Unlike many characters, this wickedness does not come from factors such as family violence, bullying or other personal trauma. So I think it could fall into the Pure Evil category.

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