Stephen King The Shining Analysis

452 Words2 Pages
The checkered past and symbolism of the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel ,The Shining, reflects the characters’ pasts and influences their actions in order to show the building as more of an antagonist (of sorts) than a setting. One example of support for the claim is when Jack Torrence is having a dream after discovering the blood and bits in the Presidential suite from a gang fight years prior, where he believes that he is killing an intruder of the hotel with a mallet, but as he threw the mallet down, “the face below him was not of the intruder but of Danny’s. It was the face of his son. Then the mallet crashed home, closing his eyes forever. Suddenly Jack awoke standing over Danny’s bed, his fists clenched tightly.” (King 402). This supports the claim…show more content…
Another example from the story is when Danny has a recurring dream about a man coming to hurt him with a mallet (coincidence?). He dreamed of running down the halls as the “large dark shape, holding some sort of mallet, came for him, swinging it back and forth into the walls, saying ‘COME OUT HERE AND TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!’”. (King 291). This well supports the claim because the dark shape may be reminding Danny of his father, the night Jack got drunk and broke his arm for messing up his office. While his dad wasn’t a mallet wielding psychopath, the hotel may be trying to direct Danny’s dreams towards relating to that night in order to distance the Torrence's from each other. If the Overlook is an antagonist, wishing for its caretakers’ downfall, then the best way to fulfill its wish is to divide and conquer. What better way than to insert distrust into their midst once again? Even if the Overlook itself is not a antagonist, then the spirits that inhabit it certainly are. Either way, something is trying to provoke the Torrence family to be at each other’s throats, thereby continuing the Overlook tradition for keeping its guests way too
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