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|“||That's right n*gger. Bad as you'd want!||„|
|~ William threatening John Coffey.|
|“||You love your sister? You make any noise you know what happens?||„|
|~ William's quote before he rapes and murders Kathy and Cora.|
William "Wild Bill" Wharton is the main antagonist in the novel The Green Mile by Stephen King and its 1999 film adaptation. He is a wild-acting, dangerous multiple-murderer who is determined to make as much trouble as he can before he is executed.
He was portrayed by Sam Rockwell, who also played Eric Knox in Charlie's Angels, Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, Justin Hammer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Billy Bickle in Seven Psychopaths and Jason Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
He committed several misdemeanors as a child, ranging from petty theft to trespassing and small-scale arson.
The Green Mile
He is brought into the prison early in the book. At first, he appears to be in a catatonic state, but he was only acting. As soon as he enters the prison, he goes berserk and attacks the guards. Paul Edgecombe, one of the two protagonists, pulls his gun out but cannot shoot Wild Bill because of his urinary tract infection - Wild Bill had kneed him in the crotch, which was made excruciatingly painful due to the infection. Percy Wetmore takes out his nightstick but is presumably paralyzed in fear and stands by watching Wild Bill attack the other guards. Wild Bill is finally subdued when Brutus "Brutal" Howell, one of the other guards, takes Percy's nightstick and hits Wild Bill over the head with it. Wild Bill soon causes lots of trouble for the guards as well as the prisoners, insulting and abusing them every chance he gets.
After John Coffey, the deuteragonist who heals people by sucking the diseases/ailments out of them and regurgitating them, refuses to share his cornbread with Wild Bill, he starts to cause trouble by urinating on Harry Terwilliger's shoes, then jokingly offers to defecate on them later. As punishment for this, the guards blast Wild Bill with a fire hose, put him in a straitjacket, and lock him in the padded room. During this transaction, he becomes angered at being called "Wild Bill" and lectures the guards about the difference between the historical "Wild Bill" Hickok and Billy the Kid (his preferred epithet). He is put in the padded room again after spitting a moon pie (which he had purchased from a janitor for a nickel; how he got the nickel is unknown) all over Brutal.
Later, Percy Wetmore startles Eduard Delacroix, who slips and falls. He says that he was "just playin'" before Wild Bill stretches his arm out of his cell and grabs Percy. He holds Percy by the neck, gropes him by his crotch, and whispers some suggestive comments in his ear before releasing him, saying that he too was "just playin'". These actions frighten Percy so badly that he begins to cry and wets himself, much to Wild Bill's amusement. He seems to be afraid of Wild Bill after this, as before he is locked in a padded cell, he begs the other guards to not put him in Wild Bill's cell.
Before John Coffey is taken to the warden's house to heal the warden's cancerous wife, Wild Bill grabs Coffey's arm. This contact allows Coffey to see inside Wild Bill's heart and it reveals that Wild Bill raped and murdered two young girls, the crime that Coffey was blamed for. To keep Wild Bill from causing more trouble, the guards give him a drugged RC Cola that knocks him out while they smuggle Coffey out of the prison. When Coffey is returned to prison, he regurgitates the disease into Percy who, either through John controlling him or willingly out of disgust for Wharton’s actions, then shoots Wild Bill to death before going into a catatonic state. When asked why he did this, John said that "[He] punished them bad men. [He] punished them both."
|“||You're a bad...man.||„|
|~ John Coffey on William Wharton.|
William Wharton is extremely psychotic, cruel, cunning, odious, and dangerous. In fact, he is the most insane and deranged criminal ever faced by Edgecomb and his fellows. He hides his bloodthirsty, sadistic, and destructive behavior under a dimwitted and mischievous facade. He does not stand authorities of any kind, so he takes a delightful pleasure in tormenting the other guards, mostly Percy Wetmore, though he also abuses the other inmates for fun or out of boredom.
William Wharton is totally remorseless, devoid of any altruistic qualities, and hoped to cause a maximum of troubles before his imminent death, which he successfully did. Judging by his crimes, it's possible that Wharton shows disregard towards women, as one of the three people he killed in a robbery was a pregnant woman, and he raped and killed two little girls before his arrest.
Wharton is also shown to be racist. He frequently insults John Coffey with racial slurs in the few conversations he does have with him. Also, shortly before passing out from his laced drink, he states that white and black people should have different electric chairs, referring to the segregation that was commonplace during his time period. This, along with his other qualities, make him even more unpleasant than he is already.
It is also possible that he is bisexual because he seems to be sexually aroused when groping Wetmore. When he grabs Percy, he gropes him by his groin and whispers disturbing sexual words into Percy's ear. This also foreshadows his true nature and that he was the one responsible for raping and murdering Kathy and Cora Detterick.
Wharton hates being called Wild Bill, as he considers Wild Bill Hickok to be a fraud who sat with his back to a door and was killed by a drunk, and instead prefers to be called Billy The Kid. The first time the guards called him Wild Bill, they could see his true colors, and not the camouflage techniques of a cunning animal.
The only thing that Wharton seems to truly fear is being straightjacketed and put into the padded isolation room that is used as punishment for prisoners who make trouble on the Green Mile. When he was first put inside, he seemed to start to have a fit to the point of slightly vomiting as he was dragged in, implying that Wharton was claustrophobic. However, it's also implied that he hates the feelings of dealing with what the room is meant for: putting a prisoner alone, in the dark, and unable to move, with nothing to do but "reflect" over their behavior. Wharton is put in the room twice for his antics against the guards, and later threatened with being put inside until his execution date by Edgecomb for singing a mocking song about Del's sabotaged execution, which shuts him up immediately.
The Long Walk
The Dark Tower
Cycle of the Werewolf
Cain Rose Up
Word Processor of the Gods
Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Dark Half
The Green Mile
Storm of the Century
Bag of Bones
Lunch at the Gotham Café
From a Buick 8
A Good Marriage
Gwendy's Button Box
In The Tall Grass
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
The Gingerbread Girl
The Night Flier
Why We're In Vietnam