The Shining Kimberly toribio

THE SHINING

Based on novel “The Shining,” written by Stephen King (1977)

Film: (1980)

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Llyod

Brief synopsis

Recovering alcoholic and writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) interviews for a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel in an effort to rebuild his life. The hotel manager, Mr. Stuart Ullman warns Jack that he and his family will be snowbound through most of the winter and of the potential risk for cabin fever. He explains this by telling of the season where the caretaker, Charles Grady, became insane and brutally killed his family. Nonetheless, Jack accepts the job. Here, Danny, his son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining.” Slowly, Jack becomes insane as a result of cabin fever and the hotel’s spirits. After being convinced by Grady’s ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane.

THEMES
  • SIN
  • HAUNTING/LINGERING IDENTITIES
  • POSSESSION
  • ISOLATION/ENCLOSURE

Relations of sin and conscience

  • Twins symbolize the conscience/sin of their father
  • The Grady twins – abused and murdered by father Charles Grady
  • Danny – abused by father Jack due to alcoholism
  • Legacy: Caretaker - abuse - murder

Harriet Beecher’s Stowe’s “The Ghost in the Mill”

  • Twins -> Ketury
  • Symbolic of pre-colonial America (history)
  • Calling out of evil and sin
“The awful Providence, ye see, had awakened him, and his sin had been set home to his soul”

Isolation and enclosure

Manager Ullman: “When the place was built in 1907, there was very little interest in winter sports. And this site was chosen for its seclusion and scenic beauty.” Jack slowly descents into madness due to enclosure Danny experiences disturbing visions due to the hotel’s history

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

  • set in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts
  • Winter is the oppressive force
"It seemed to be a part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night itself descending on us layer by layer." (pg. 9)

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • the narrator feels closely related to the yellow wallpaper
  • the surroundings then become uncanny and sinister

Possession

Possession from former caretaker Charles Grady
  • As Jack falls into madness, he is persuaded to murder his family
“But I corrected them sir, and when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I corrected her,” Mr. Grady.

In a far country by Jack London

  • Carter Weatherbee and Percy Cuthfert become insane due to the isolation
  • Weatherbee begins to see ghosts from the graves becomes possessed
“They guided him gently, very gently, to the woodpile, where they put the ax in his hands.”
fin

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