The Shining

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Stephen King's The Shining Widely known as Stephen Kings scariest novel is The Shining. The story is actually inspired by a night that the Kings spent at a Colorado hotel several nights before the end of the season. The story is about the Torrance family: Jack, a recovering alcoholic; Wendy, his wife; and their son, Danny. Danny has a special power that lets him see into the future and the past.

Jack loses his teaching position at the local high school due to a fight with a student. An old friend of his offers him a position as caretaker for the Overlook Hotel during the winter season. Jack accepts and the Torrances are off to the hotel for the winter. At the Overlook the family meets the in-season caretaker, a man by the name of Dick Halloran, who has the same special power as Danny. Dick warns Danny that the hotel can "shine" also and that whatever he saw was just pictures and it couldn't hurt him.

That's where he was wrong.

The hotel "uses" Jack against his family. It gives him alcohol and women and tells him that he has always been there as the caretaker, but if he doesn't kill his family he will lose the job. Jack becomes pure evil; he tries, nearly successfully, to kill both Wendy and Danny, narrowly being outsmarted in the end.

"The Shining." Kev's Stephen King House. 2 March, 2001