The Shining

By Stephen King

Basic Overview

Jack, Wendy, and Danny believe the Overlook hotel is their last chance at making their family a unit, or so they think. What they'll actually discover, is a haunted hotel that provokes violence, rage, insanity, and murder.

Main Character List

Jack Torrance- Antagonist- Round, Dynamic -- Father, Husband

Wendy Torrance- Protagonist- Round, Dynamic-- Mother, Wife

Danny Torrance- Protagonist- Round, Dynamic-- Son

Dan Hallorann- Protagonist- Flat, Static-- Head Chef of the Hotel

Delbert Grady- Antagonist- Flat, Static-- Previous Caretaker, Deceased, Murderer

Tony- Protagonist- Flat, Static-- Little boy inside Danny's mouth

Themes

Family

The Supernatural

Violence

Stephen King Biography




Stephen (Edwin) King is an American author of suspense, sci-fi, and fantasy. He was born in Portland, Maine in September, 1947. “The King of Horror” started his writing career when he was writing articles in his brother’s newspaper in 1965. He became interested in short stories and would continue writing short stories over the weekends and soon worked on novels. So far, he has written a total of 55 novels, short stories, articles, and comics. and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. When his mom died in 1974, King moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he wrote the best selling novel, ‘The Shining’. In 1999, the King was in a vehicle accident and suffered many severe injuries and fractures. He has to have many operations and therapy. He endured a broken hip which made it impossible to write for more than 40 minutes. The pain was so unbearable that in 2002, he announced that he would stop writing.
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Setting

Setting


The setting mostly takes place at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, 1975. This setting was inspired by the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Stephen King actually wrote the novel in room 217.


The setting itself is very eerie. The hotel is very quiet and empty. You really get the feeling of how small the characters are in the enormous, solemn hotel. The hotel is almost like a castle.


It would be difficult to have the setting anywhere else. Especially since the snow and the feeling of isolation high in the mountains really adds to the spooky ambiance of the entire story.

Movie Comparison *Book in Italics, Movie in Bold




In the book...

In the movie...



Appearances

Wendy has blonde hair.

Wendy has black hair.



Danny has a cast on his arm.

Danny has no cast.



Danny is 5 years old.

Danny is 7 years old.




  • Likes/Dislikes

Danny likes sandwiches and soup.

Danny likes french fries and ketchup.



Danny watches educational television.

Danny watches cartoons.




  • Setting

The yard has hedges shaped like animals.

The yard has a gigantic maze.




  • Actions

Jack tries to kill them with a sledgehammer.

Jack tries to kill them with an axe.



Jack doesn’t succeed at killing anyone.

Jack kills Mr. Halloran.



Jack dies in a boiler explosion.

Jack gets lost in the maze and freezes to death.




  • Other

Delbert Grady possesses Jack to kill Danny so that he can absorb his shining power. If Delbert gets a handle on this he will be able to extend his powers beyond the Overlook .

When Delbert Grady and Jack are in the bathroom, Delbert tells Jack that he’s always been the caretaker. This could mean a few things. 1) Jack had the shining and passed it down to Danny. The shining caused him to hallucinate all the people that he’s seen and everything they tell him. 2) Jack has been part of the hotel the whole time which explains how all the ghost knew his name and his deja vu. He might have even been a ghost the whole time. 3) Jack died and became part of the hotel’s haunted history which explains how he was in the picture from the 1920s.




The movie did not capture the novel well because it changed so many important things about the book. I liked the book much better than the movie. I would still recommend watching the movie, but be prepared for some occasional disturbing content.