Annie Wilkes “Misery”

Annie Wilkes, as depicted in the movie “Misery,” has a complex and troubled life. Before becoming infamous as the captor and tormentor of the protagonist, Paul Sheldon, her life was relatively ordinary. Paul Sheldon is a famous novelist, known for his series of romance novels featuring the character Misery Chastain. Annie is an avid fan of Paul’s “Misery” novels and considers herself his “number one fan.”

Her past is largely mysterious, with little information revealed about her upbringing or early life. Annie was born in Bakersfield, California and she graduated from the University of California at the Los Angeles nursing school in 1966. While serving as head maternity nurse at a Boulder, Colorado hospital, several infants in her care died under mysterious circumstances. She was tried for their deaths, but she acquitted for lack of evidence.

Annie lives in a secluded and isolated farmhouse in the Colorado mountains. Her reclusive lifestyle contributes to her sense of detachment from the outside world and the people around her.

Annie’s life revolves around her obsession with the “Misery” novels written by Paul Sheldon. She is an avid fan of the romance series featuring the character Misery Chastain and is deeply invested in the fictional world created by Sheldon.

At first, Annie appears to be kind and caring, taking Paul into her home and providing medical assistance for his injuries. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes evident that Annie is deeply disturbed and has an obsessive attachment to Paul and his “Misery” novels.

Underneath her seemingly polite and caring facade, Annie suffers from severe mental instability. Her obsessions and emotions can quickly turn from admiration to rage, leading to unpredictable and violent behavior.

As Paul Sheldon’s captor, Annie reveals a sadistic streak, inflicting physical and psychological torture on him. She takes pleasure in exerting control over him and revels in the power she holds as his captor.

Throughout the film, Annie’s true nature is revealed, showcasing her volatile and sadistic tendencies. She inflicts physical and psychological torture on Paul, subjecting him to extreme pain and manipulation to control him and ensure he follows her demands.

Despite her outward appearance of control, Annie experiences a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. Her fixation on the “Misery” novels and her secluded lifestyle contribute to her feeling disconnected from the world around her.

She is also delusional: she actually believes that after burning Paul’s book and trapping him in her house, he would sit down to a celebratory dinner with her and “enjoy it.” His toast at that dinner is, naturally, to Misery. Not to the romance book character, but to Paul’s misery in the care of a depressive, mood-swinging maniac. His number one fan.

Annie Wilkes exhibits intense and unstable emotions, such as rapidly shifting from kindness to anger. She has difficulties with impulse control, self-image, and fears of abandonment, as seen in her obsessive attachment to Paul Sheldon. As the story unfolds, her actions reveal the depths of her mental instability and her capacity for violence and cruelty. I thought you were good, Paul. But you’re not good. You’re just an old dirty birdy.