"YOU'RE THE CARETAKER, SIR. YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER. I SHOULD KNOW, SIR. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE...." -- DELBERT GRADY OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL THE SHINING First published in 1977, "The Shining" quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendaryStanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson --"The Shining" stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.
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Before cell phones, e-mail, or Twitter feeds, the Rolodex, shown below, was a necessity for an efficiently run business. How does the reference to a "mental" Rolodex in the text here help you immediately understand Ullman's position, power, and influence? (This annotation contains an image)
This novel, one of the most well-known in the modern horror genre, will contain many, many examples of foreshadowing that will help introduce and develop conflict and tension. The highlighted text here contains one example. For more about this technique, watch the video below. As you continue reading, look for other examples of this technique. (This annotation contains a video)
Since the point of view in this chapter is limited to Jack's perspective, what do we least understand about Ullman?
The author uses a variety of both direct and indirect characterization to describe the character of Stuart Ullman, portrayed by an actor in the film version of this novel below. It's no secret that Jack, possibly the novel's protagonist, finds Ullman to be grating. What does Jack's irritation with Ullman also help us to better understand about Jack's personality? (This annotation contains an image)
Horace Derwent is a character who is clearly based on real-life figure Howard Hughes. A controversial American icon and the subject of the award-winning movie The Aviator, the video below delves into one of the more disturbing stories about Hughes. Watch the video below. As you learn more about the character who is based on him, think of this obvious reference to Howard Hughes as another form of foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on evidence in the text, which of the following is least likely to be a source of pride for Ullman?
Based on his characterization, which of the following is least likely to be a reason why Ullman shares the story of Grady with Jack?
In just one short chapter, the author has given the reader all sorts of important information about Jack: he is educated, intelligent, a former teacher, and loving toward his family. He is also a recovering alcoholic, a person who has lost a previous position for unspecified reasons, and someone who is about to find himself in an extremely remote location for several months. As you continue reading, look for other details that will help develop this important character.
Jack gives several reasons for not being worried about the job, despite Ullman's concerns. Which of the following is not a reason Jack gives for his lack of concern?
The author's word choice in this passage is interesting. There are many other similes the author could use to describe the deep, peaceful dream of a child. How does the inclusion of the word "corpse" impact the reader?
Which of the following words is most clearly an antonym for "reverie"?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Try it now with the word "reverie" and then answer the question that follows.
Notice the way the author uses syntax, or sentence structure, to make fragmented ideas still have meaning for the reader. Here, a particular phrase is repeated but then interrupted by a parenthetical idea: "Danny with his arm in a cast." The reader must assume that this is a sort of flashback to a time when Jack hurt his son out of anger, probably after drinking. How does this new information, coupled with the information the reader learned about Jack and his new job, increase the novel's building tension?
Based on evidence from the text, which of the following best describes how Wendy feels about moving to the Overlook?
Based on the previous use of the same technique, why does the author most likely put this question in parentheses?
While the event of Danny's broken arm was briefly discussed by Wendy and her son in the previous chapter, it's Jack who tells the reader the entire story. By using Jack's perspective, the reader sees not only the horrifying event, but also the extent of Jack's guilt and self-loathing following it. For more about point of view, watch the video below. As you continue reading, the novel's point of view will continue to alternate between several characters. Each time it does, consider why the author chooses to have specific events presented by specific characters rather than others. (This annotation contains a video)
The author uses an idiom here that's similar to one that many people use frequently: "goose bumps" or "chill bumps." Jack suddenly shivers, not because of the temperature, but because of an odd, eerie, inexplicable feeling. This phrase is often used to mean that someone gets a superstitious feeling about his own death. While reading further, continue looking for other specific examples of word choice that create "a vague sense of unease," as shown below. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Watson's biggest concern about what Jack needs to watch carefully over the winter?
Notice word choice yet again with the author's use of "rotting" in the same sentence as a mention of the Overlook's history. Although the hotel management prides itself on the Overlook's reputation as a resort for the wealthy and influential, the reader already knows of one notorious and terrible story from its history. Why might it be dangerous for the Overlook's "entire history" to be so accessible to Jack and his family?
Which characteristic of gothic horror does the highlighted passage most clearly illustrate?
With the inclusion of this ghost story, the author fully enters a genre known as gothic fiction. Other authors who are known for this genre include Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley. For more about the genre, watch the student-created video below. Then, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the details in this passage, which of the following most accurately describes Jack's character development thus far in the novel?
Based on the evidence in this passage, which of the following is most likely an ability that Danny possesses?
Notice how the author spells "hallucination" phonetically in this passage. Although Danny has the ability to read his parents' minds, he does not fully comprehend their more complex emotions and vocabulary, but the reader should understand. When the reader of a text understands more than a particular character does, this creates a specific type of tension called dramatic irony. For more about this technique, watch the video below. How does the use of dramatic irony in this chapter contribute to the reader's growing sense of tension? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on previous details from the text, which of the following is most likely the reason why the author chooses to capitalize "THE PLAY"?
Why does the author's syntax and diction undergo a dramatic shift in this passage?
Pay close attention to the author's diction, or word choice, in this passage. What specific words does the author use to create a sense of horror and desperation? The word "REDRUM" is unfamiliar, yet it terrifies Danny and should cause anxiety in the reader as well. Look at the illustration below for an example of one reader's impression of the word. What feelings does this unfamiliar word evoke, and why? As you continue reading, pay attention to the author's careful use of words, even new ones, to create certain moods. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on evidence from the text, which of the following is most likely true about "the monster" that chases Danny in his vision?
Although Danny is excited to see his father, he does not forget the images that he saw in his vision. He also does not talk about them. What do both of these details indicate about Danny as a character? Although he is young, he has learned some difficult lessons already about the weaknesses of the adults in his life. How do you think Danny will continue to grow and develop as a character?
Based on the author's word choice in this passage, which of the following best describes how Jack feels about Danny?
From Jack's point of view, the reader can see the extent of his self-loathing. Even in his hardest partying days, Jack is often lucid enough to feel like he isn't good enough for Wendy and Danny. Consider this detail as you analyze Jack's development throughout the novel. Does he learn to cope with his guilt? Is he consumed and incapacitated by it? Or does he forget it altogether? If Jack loses his sense of regret, how might this affect his family's well-being?
Which event most directly leads to Jack's sobriety?
The allusion, or reference, in this passage is to a classic silent movie. While it's mentioned in an offhand way by Al, the author deliberately chooses to include this specific reference. Watch the video to get a sense for why the author includes the allusion to the unmasking of the Phantom. What metaphor can you draw between this unmasking in the video and Jack's newfound sobriety? (This annotation contains a video)
What is most directly implied by this passage?
Wendy is experiencing a flashback to an earlier time in her marriage. What does this flashback enable the reader to better understand about her relationship with Jack?
This Latin phrase, which translates into "I came; I saw; I conquered," is attributed to Julius Caesar in one of his most victorious moments. What do you know about Caesar? How might this reference, meant by Jack to be triumphant, actually serve as an example of foreshadowing?
How does Jack know that this statement will get under Wendy's skin?
Here is another example of dramatic irony: although Wendy does not know what finally prompts Jack to put down the bottle cold turkey, the reader does. What event most directly led to this moment? How does Wendy's ignorance of this event add to the book's tension?
The article linked below is a great text to explain this revelation in the novel. Wendy believes that Danny may be different due to his unusual "en caul" birth. How does the information in the article support this belief? Read the article, and then answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following is not true about "en caul" births?
The link below contains a version of the song that lingers in Wendy's head throughout this chapter. As you listen, consider how the lyrics and the music indicate Wendy's hopeful mood. (This annotation contains a video)
The last time that Danny saw Tony was far from pleasant. Since that's the case, why would Danny want to see him again? What do you think is the explanation for Danny's visions of Tony?
At this point in the novel, which of the following best compares Danny's point of view with his mother's?
In previous chapters, each chapter was narrated from the perspective of a particular character. Notice how this chapter is different: alternating rapidly between Danny and Wendy's perspectives as they approach the Overlook for the first time. Also, although the reader knows what both Wendy and Danny are thinking, Jack's thoughts remain hidden. Why do you think the author might have decided to use point of view in this way?
Wendy's worry about the Donner Party is an allusion to a well-known story from American history. Watch the following preview for a movie based on this story of pioneers caught in the most desperate of situations. After watching the clip, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is most likely the reason why the author includes an allusion to the Donner Party's story?
Danny recognizes the Overlook from his horrifying vision. Think back to Danny's description from that vision. As you continue reading, consider which details from the vision present themselves in Danny's reality. For example, are there really "long corridors carpeted with jungle"? What more troubling details may come to life?
W.C. Fields, pictured below, was an early twentieth century comedian and actor. One of his more famous lines was, "I like children... if they're properly cooked." He also famously advised young people in show business: "never work with children or animals." What does this allusion help you better understand about the character of Ullman? (This annotation contains an image)
Based on previous details from the text and your understanding of his character, which of the following is the best inference about why Danny speaks in "an odd colorless little voice" about roque?
Jack and Wendy are speaking in double-entendres, or a figure of speech in which more than one meaning is meant. Often, the more hidden or subtle meaning of a double-entendre is sexual in nature. Although Danny doesn't understand this type of humor, he appreciates Jack and Wendy's flirtation, because it indicates that they still love one another despite their marital problems. As the novel continues, notice details about Jack and Wendy's relationship: will they remain so light-hearted and affectionate with one another? (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Danny understand what Mrs. Brant is thinking?
Which detail does not help endear Hallorann to the Torrance family?
Wendy feels insecure and unsure as she looks at this enormous kitchen and its tools. This is not the first time the reader has seen this emotion from her, and it won't be the last. How do details about both her marriage and her upbringing help the reader better understand the extent of Wendy's self-doubt? How might this characteristic impact her family in the future?
Hallorann's explanation for knowing Danny's nickname without being told, although the Torrances seem to accept it, seems thin and weak to the reader. What could be another explanation for this?
How does the author's use of dramatic irony impact this scene?
In this story about Watson's history, the reader learns of another set of tragic and violent deaths on the Overlook property. How does this detail contribute to the rising tension and the sense that things will not go well for the Torrance family in this hotel?
Based on what has already happened between them in this chapter, which of the following is most likely the reason why Hallorann wants Danny to help him?
This chapter's title is the same as the novel's. Repetition such as this helps alert the reader to the idea that something important is about to happen or a secret is about to be divulged. Read this chapter carefully to understand why this novel is titled as it is.
Based on the author's word choice in this passage, which of the following inferences is most likely to be true regarding Danny's ability?
The visits with Tony worry Jack and Wendy because Danny has some sort of seizure. The idea of prophetic visions being tied to seizures is not new; the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky was epileptic and claimed to have seizures, and some neuroscientists have studied whether Joan of Arc, with her famous visions, might have suffered from a similar illness. The painting below is of Joan of Arc. How does the painting compare to Danny's experiences with Tony? (This annotation contains an image)
What advice does Hallorann give Danny about how to handle the Overlook?
The video below is from the movie version of this novel. As you watch it, compare details from the movie scene with what you've just read. Then, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following details from the text is not included in the movie clip?
What is the effect of personification as it is used in this sentence?
Based on his demeanor, which of the following most accurately describes how Ullman feels about his job at the Overlook?
This is not the first time that the adverb "colorlessly" has been used to describe Danny's dutiful responses to a parent's concern. Danny is carefully making sure that his response is devoid of any emotion or meaning, hiding his true emotion: apprehension. He recognizes this exact carpet from his terrifying vision. Why doesn't he let his mother know?
The word choice in this passage is particularly gruesome. Remember that one of the elements of the gothic horror novel is the macabre, or grisly and graphic atmosphere. What specific words in the passage lend themselves to that macabre feeling?
Which of the following is most likely the reason for the author's extensive description of a fire extinguisher?
It's interesting to note that Stephen King conceptualized this novel while staying in Room 217 of The Stanley Inn in Estes Park, Colorado. For more about this story and about Room 217's subsequent lore, read the article linked below. (This annotation contains a link)
The idea of isolation and its effects on the human psyche is one that is repeated throughout this novel. For more about how an author introduces a particular theme, watch the video below. What point do you think the author is trying to make about isolation and loneliness? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Jack feel "real sympathy" for Ullman?
Quiz, Parts One and Two
The idea of isolation continues in this section of the novel. In this passage, though, isolation is soothing to Jack. What does this help you to better understand about his character?
Based on Jack's description of his play, which of the following is likely to be a source of inspiration to him?
What do these two sentences show the reader about Jack's character development?
While the reader has seen several examples of Wendy's rocky home life before Jack, this is the first time the reader has been privy to Jack's childhood. Jack thinks of his clearly abusive father in an offhand manner, but the reader should recognize this detail as one that could help explain, and maybe even justify, some of Jack's own shortcomings as a father.
Jack believes that the wasp nest is a symbol of both his tortured past and his brighter future. Going a step further, King uses the wasps' nest as an extended metaphor. For more about the use of metaphors, watch the video below. If the nest is a metaphor for Jack's psychological turmoil, how does the author add details that extend both the metaphor and our greater understanding of Jack's inner demons? (This annotation contains a video)
One of the most interesting aspects of point of view is that while a reader gets to understand certain aspects better due to the novel's perspective, there are times when that perspective is tainted. For example, one of Jack's most prevalent characteristics, in addition to his temper and his self-loathing, is his denial of the truth. As you continue reading this story about George, what do you discover about Jack's ability to obscure the truth from everyone, including himself?
The actor Robert Redford's name and picture often conjure images of All-American health, beauty, and privilege. Keep this allusion in mind as you analyze Jack's true feelings about George Hatfield. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on textual evidence, which of the following is most likely true regarding Jack's feelings about George Hatfield?
The reader should recognize this line from Danny's visions. Why is it particularly ominous?
Jack admits to himself that he set the timer ahead after all. What effect does this have on the reader?
Which aspect of Jack's character is not clearly seen in this chapter?
Based on the last chapter, it's hard for the reader -and Wendy- to decide whether or not to trust Jack when he says he doesn't push Danny. Yet, unknown to his parents, Danny has another motivation for learning to read as quickly as possible: he wants to be able to better understand Tony.
When Wendy draws back from the wasps' nest and repeatedly asks about its safety, what literary technique is most clearly being used by the author?
Danny is using secondhand copies of the Dick and Jane primers to learn to read. See a copy of the page below to get an idea of what Danny is reading so carefully. The harmless, even silly content of the Dick and Jane books are juxtaposed with Danny's tension while reading them. How does this juxtaposition create a sense of irony for the reader? (This annotation contains an image)
The wasps' nest makes Wendy nervous. Would you want something like this next to your bed? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Jack losing his temper?
How is Danny's behavior in this scene another example of dramatic irony?
While the reader understands that Jack is unnerved by the clear reference to George Hatfield and Jack's treatment of him, Wendy and Danny have obviously been kept in the dark. Based on this, it's easy to see why Jack reacts so strongly to Danny's asking about the timer: he shouldn't know anything about it. What other details does Danny seem to know that he shouldn't?
What does this recurrent gesture of Jack's most likely represent?
Danny has tried hard to control his visions and even to ignore them, but it is getting harder and harder to do so. By increasing the frequency of these visions and the violence that is part of them, the author is increasing the pace of the story. Watch the video below to understand more about a story's pacing. As you finish this chapter, think about the details the author uses to make this section of the novel feel especially panicked, even frenzied. (This annotation contains a video)
By increasing the pacing of this section of the novel, what effect does the writer achieve?
Again, remember that the reader has learned to question Jack, who doesn't even realize that he is not being truthful at times. Why were there still wasps in the nest? Was the bug bomb defective? Did Jack even use it at all? While the reader knows Jack doesn't consciously want anything to happen to Danny, is Jack's subconscious mind so innocent? Questions like these motivate a reader to keep reading and exploring the text to find answers.
Based on textual evidence, why does Danny want to sleep in his mother's room?
Compare this statement with the author's figurative use of the wasps' nest. If the nest is a metaphor for Jack's hibernating problems with alcohol and violence, what does the return of the wasps foreshadow for the rest of the novel?
Why does Doctor Edmonds tell Danny not to use the idiom "pitch a fit"?
Sometimes Danny's telepathy isn't perfect: he can't always tell exactly what a person is thinking. He does, however, still get a sense of a person's intentions through images or impressions. When he probes the doctor's mind and find locked filing cabinets that hide away secrets, why does he find this comforting?
"Burlesquing suicide" could be considered an oxymoron: a figure of speech in which contradicting ideas are juxtaposed to create a certain meaning or effect. As the video below illustrates, we usually notice more commonly used examples of oxymorons. However, a careful writer may choose to create his own for a particular purpose. After watching the video, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
What effect is achieved through the author's use of the idiom "burlesquing suicide" to describe Danny's gesture?
By delving into Wendy's jumbled thoughts without offering narration, commentary, or even punctuation to help the reader decipher them, the author is using a narrative technique known as stream of consciousness. Proponents of this technique feel that using it lends a sense of authenticity to a work. Consider your own mind, especially when under stress like Wendy: how often do your thoughts form complete sentences?
One of the most tragic aspects of this novel stems from our sympathy for Danny, who seems so wise for his age and has been exposed to terrible experiences as a child, yet who also has a sheltered innocence that we want to protect. How does the author's word choice in this passage preserve the image of Danny as troubled, yet naive?
Based on evidence from the text, why is Danny's smile for the doctor weak?
With the highlighted dialogue in this passage, the author inserts a question into the reader's mind: why is Danny's friend named Tony? What do Jack, Wendy, and Dr. Edmonds all know about the significance of the name choice that we don't? Why do you think the author doesn't choose to reveal this detail to the reader right away?
Which of the following is true about Doctor Edmonds's diagnosis of Danny?
The doctor believes that while Danny's psyche was in real danger before, now that the family is living at the Overlook, Danny will be able to recover. Based on what you've read, do you agree? What would you explain to the doctor about the situation, if you could?
Based on your understanding of Danny as a character, what seems to make him happiest?
Despite the description of beautiful fall weather and suntans, how does the author immediately create a sense of unease in the reader when this chapter begins?
In the Overlook's records, Jack finds that many celebrities and societal icons have visited the Overlook, from political figures to movie stars. Warren G. Harding, shown below, was the 29th president of the United States. What does this sort of guest list imply about the Overlook and its reputation? (This annotation contains an image)
What does the highlighted sentence most nearly mean?
In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," Prince Prospero hosts an elaborate costume party for high society members who are attempting to avoid a mysterious plague. The plague, of course, catches up to them after all: through a ghostly figure, dressed in red, who wears an unsettling mask. Since this story is a classic example of the gothic horror genre, what effect does this allusion have on the text? (This annotation contains an image)
You learned from an earlier annotation that the fictional Horace Derwent is unmistakably modeled after the real-life Howard Hughes. Read the brief biography of Hughes that can be found by clicking the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on the biography you read, how do details of Howard Hughes's real life compare with details of the life of Horace Derwent? Use text evidence to explain your answer.
When Jack discovers the darker history of the Overlook, specifically its connections with organized crime lords, he is exhilarated. Why? What does this detail tell you about Jack's greatest motivation?
Which of the following is most likely the reason why King chooses not to reveal the author of the scrapbook?
As you finish reading this scene, remember that one important theme that continues to develop in the novel is the theme of secrets and hidden shame. Why is Jack hiding the scrapbook from Wendy? Although this seems like a minor deception now, what might happen later?
Why are these words written in italics?
The Bluebeard story is one of several where a curious woman causes great destruction. Another example is in the classic myth of Pandora, a brief version of which can be found below. Consider both of these classic works while you read about Danny's experience with Room 217 in this and other sections of the novel. Later, you will be asked to compare them. (This annotation contains a link)
Based only on the highlighted text, which of the following words best describes Danny's character?
It's almost tongue-in-cheek that a suspense writer mentions a "dreadful kind of curiosity, the kind that makes you peek through your fingers during the scariest parts of a scary movie." After all, the reader is meant to feel the same way: we are torn between dread of what threat to Danny might be lurking behind the door and the fascination of needing to know. How else do suspense writers create this paradoxical emotion in a reader, and why?
This highlighted passage contains a great deal of figurative language, especially hyperbole. For more about this type of figurative language, watch the video below. Then, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is most clearly an example of hyperbole in the text?
Even though Danny does not enter Room 217, he has a terrifying experience nonetheless. The author achieves two things by including this chapter in which Danny really just stands outside a door: he includes details which scare the reader, and yet he gives the reader reason to believe that the worst is yet to come. Do you think this is the last time the reader - or Danny - will hear of Room 217?
Based on the text, how has Jack's attitude toward Wendy abruptly changed?
From Jack's point of view, the reader sees that his temptation to drink is becoming stronger than ever. In this chapter, he mentions a headache and Wendy's "nagging" as factors which make him crave alcohol. What other actions, both conscious and unconscious, have recently shown this craving?
Excedrin, shown below, is simply an over the counter aspirin, but to Jack, it symbolizes much more than your standard painkiller. Pay attention to how the author uses language to demonstrate just how much this green bottle means to Jack. Why is this detail so troubling? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Ullman react so strongly to Jack's phone call?
In a moment of clarity and introspection, Jack wonders if he is subconsciously trying to destroy himself. This is a trademark of the tragic hero, an important literary character type. For more about the classical concept of the tragic hero, watch the video below. As you continue reading, consider how Jack is an example of a tragic hero: a main character whose flaws lead to his own downfall. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is not a possible reason that Jack gives for calling Ullman?
The National Enquirer is a tabloid magazine, most well-known for its outrageous claims about scandals involving celebrities. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following best describes how Jack is currently feeling?
This metaphor comparing Jack to the boiler is an important one: Watson's warnings about the boiler were very clear. If Jack's stress builds up the same way the steam does in the boiler, what disastrous results could occur?
Which of the following best explains how Wendy now feels about Danny's visions?
According to the text, what is Danny's worst fear, which makes him keep his worries a secret from his parents?
Danny says this line aloud before when coming out of his trance in Dr. Edmonds's office. Notice that the phrase "human monsters" is another example of an oxymoron. Through this repetition, the author points out an important theme about evil: are evil deeds only carried out by monsters, or are they carried out by human beings in difficult places and situations?
The highlighted passage most clearly contains an example of what type of figurative language?
Watch the video below to compare the lyrics of this song with the music. Does the tone of the lyrics match up with the music? Why do you think the author chooses to include these song lyrics at this point in the novel? (This annotation contains a video)
When Wendy says that the family is stuck "between the fat and the fire," she is using an idiom that means they're trapped between two equally bad choices. In other words, separating the family and going to her mother's, in Wendy's mind, carries the same harm as staying together at the Overlook during the winter. Do you agree with Wendy's assessment of the situation? As the reader, what do you know that she doesn't?
Based on the evidence within the text, which of the following most accurately describes Jack's feelings for his father?
Jack is alluding to a movie called The Lost Weekend, in which the main character is an alcoholic who suffers from hallucinations while in withdrawal. Watch the clip of scenes from the movie below. The hallucination Jack mentions happens around 1:06, but you can actually make many other comparisons between Ray Milland's character and Jack. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the author's word choice in this passage, what sound is apparently haunting Jack?
When film director Stanley Kubrick, pictured on the set below, made this novel into a movie, the moving topiary animals were left out of his adaptation. He felt that special effects would make them look too unrealistic, one of many decisions which famously made the novel's author unhappy. When Stephen King, below left, made his own version of the novel into a mini-series, he made sure to leave the animals in it. If you were directing a film version of this novel, which decision would you make? What other details might you delete or be sure to include? (This annotation contains an image)
Jack's "bad scare" terrifies him, but he chooses not to mention it to Wendy. Why? How does this detail relate to the developing themes of secrets and isolation?
What "decision" is no longer in the family's hands?
Which phrase in this passage does not contribute to the ominous mood the author is intending to create?
Notice the author's increasing usage of personification when referring to the Overlook. The hotel almost seems like a fourth major character with its own motivations and intentions. For more about how personification works, watch the video below. Why do you think this technique is essential to this novel's structure as a work of gothic horror? (This annotation contains a video)
The presence of the caribou startle and disturb Wendy. What does she feel that their presence shows about human society in general, and her family in particular? (This annotation contains an image)
This passage is most clearly an example of what narrative technique?
The allusions to the white rabbit and the Red Queen come from the classic story Alice in Wonderland. Watch the clip below to better understand the connection Danny is making between the roque mallet that so disturbs him and the Red Queen's vicious "game" of croquet. (This annotation contains a video)
This scene, in which the suspense is suddenly ratcheted up by King to a new level, could be the climax if this novel were only a ghost story. Since it's included as part of the novel's rising action, however, it is only an indication that the worst is yet to come.
Quiz Two, Part Three
Use the define feature for "enchanted." It is interesting that the author chooses this word to describe the influence that the Overlook seems to have on Jack. Other words that could have been used include "haunted" or "possessed." What effect would the author achieve with each particular word choice?
Jack is describing what his relationship with his father was like when Jack was Danny's age. How do the two father / son relationships compare?
Which of the following best describes Jack's current state of mind?
Since this passage is told from Jack's point of view, it's difficult for the reader to objectively understand exactly what has happened. Is Jack hallucinating when he hears his father's voice? Or is there some supernatural reason for this event?
Danny is standing at the stairs in a catatonic state. See the chart below for a list of his likely symptoms. What has caused Danny's catatonia? (This annotation contains an image)
What is the effect of the metaphor, "the face of an animal caught in a snare"?
For a moment, Jack seems to redeem himself; he tells Wendy about his terrible "nightmare," and he seems like a broken, tragic man. However, when Wendy asks him about Danny, Jack gets angry very quickly. As a reader who has gotten to know the complexity of both characters, where do your sympathies lie during this conflict between them?
Why are there marks on Danny's throat?
Why does Jack yell "no" and begin hitting his own legs with his fists?
Even though the reader knows that Jack did not attack Danny, the author uses dramatic irony to keep the truth from Wendy. Think about the timing of this scene as well: isn't it particularly unlucky for Jack that he and Wendy are apart when Danny's incident occurs? As you keep reading, think about how the author plays with techniques such as irony and pacing to keep the plot twisting.
Critics of both this novel and its movie version are often divided on the character of Wendy Torrance. Is Wendy a strong or weak character? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
Jack feels victimized by his wife's suspicion of him. Do you think his feelings are justified?
Stephen King, the author of this novel, is himself a recovering alcoholic. When he wrote this novel, he was suffering from the disease as a young husband, father, and struggling writer; hence, his details about Jack's struggle with addiction are probably very realistic. The letter below is one King wrote to his teenage self many years later. How does the advice he gives himself relate to Jack's dilemma here? (This annotation contains an image)
Who is Lloyd?
With the highlighted passage, Jack begins a complicated extended metaphor that compares trying to cope with alcoholism to getting on and off a wagon. Using the phrase "fell off the wagon" is a common idiom for saying that someone who had stopped abusing alcohol is now drinking again.
Who is Danny referring to when he says, "Daddy, it was her"?
This is one of those moments, becoming ever rarer, where Jack seems to come back to his senses and take charge like the father Danny adores. In fact, he actually gives Wendy more credit than she gives him. How does this detail support the idea of Jack being a tragic hero in this novel?
Why is Jack cautious?
Danny is sharing his secrets at last. Jack, though, chooses not to divulge his own. What do you think will be the outcome of this decision?
Based on the way the word is used in context, which of the following is the best synonym for simpatico?
What has happened to Jack to change his mind so suddenly about Danny? Just moments earlier, he was a concerned father, who only cared about his son's physical and mental well-being. Now, outside room 217, he is suddenly thinking about how Danny needs more physical discipline. What kind of influence does the hotel seem to have on Jack?
How does Jack's experience in Room 217 affect him?
Why doesn't Jack tell his family the truth? Why doesn't he admit the truth to himself? He is an extremely complex character who keeps the reader guessing. For more about the development of complex characters, watch the video below. Why would an author strive to create complex characters in his or her works? (This annotation contains a video)
Mr. Chips, or Mr. Charles Edward Chipping, is a fictional character from a famous novel and movie. The character is often alluded to as the ultimate teacher and headmaster: a perfect combination of sternness, caring, and charisma. If Jack now sees his former villain, Denker, as this sort of man, what does this say about how the lines of good and evil are blurring for Jack himself? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jack think that he is unable to finish his play?
Contrast Wendy and Jack's reactions to remembering that the snowmobile is an option for leaving the Overlook. What does each character's reaction say about his or her motivation and state of mind?
Based on the way the name is used in the sentence, who is Algernon Blackwood most likely to be?
Giotto's famous painting, St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, depicts the phenomenon that Jack is explaining to Wendy. Why do you think Jack is more willing to believe this is the explanation for Danny's injuries instead of Danny's actual explanation? (This annotation contains an image)
Jack wasn't there when Danny was hurt, but the reader was. How would you respond to his theories about Danny's injuries? Use evidence from the text to explain your response.
Based on this passage, what emotion makes Jack hesitant to leave the Overlook?
The author's use of imagery in this passage helps the reader see how violent Jack's thoughts are. What words and phrases stand out in the highlighted text, and what sort of image do they create?
When does Danny sleep more peacefully?
Jack's dream has many things in common with Danny's previous visions, but it also contains repetition of important symbols from Jack's past: the wasps' nest, the timer, his father's cane. Watch the video below to understand more about the use of symbolism in a text. Then, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following symbols from Jack's dream most likely represents his abstract fear of becoming like his father?
What images from Jack's dream are repeated by the author in this section of the novel, in order to leave the reader feeling unsettled?
A Luddite is a person who's opposed to technological change, as made evident by the cartoon below. When Jack derisively calls himself a Luddite because of his instant dislike of the snowmobile, he seems to overcome an inner conflict about using it. His triumph, however, won't last long. What other factors may be at work in this conflict, other than Jack's instinctive distaste for new machinery? (This annotation contains an image)
What is being personified in the highlighted passage?
Jack, who has been struggling with conflicting thoughts ever since arriving at the Overlook, suddenly has a moment of clarity. Based on his previous actions and temptations, do you think it will last? What will try to cloud his clarity once more?
Why is Jack's peaceful feeling ironic?
Jack is calmer now. As in the previous chapter, he is now "at peace." For Danny, who craves his parents' happiness, this should be a good thing, but it isn't. What does Jack's resignation to the Overlook's power over him mean for Danny and the rest of the family?
Based on your understanding of Danny, who does he think of as his hero?
Danny's hero worship of Jack is evident in this scene. In fact, it's the memory of Jack's words that keep Danny moving when he wants to give up and just lie down in the snow. How does this detail add yet another layer to the complex relationship between this father and son?
Who is Jack really trying to convince that the animals aren't real?
Wendy's feelings toward her husband are complicated. In your opinion, is she brave for staying with Jack, or is she weak? How does her love for her family make her both stronger and weaker?
In this simile and allusion, Jack is compared to Hamlet, Shakespeare famous tragic hero. Hamlet's internal struggle led to disastrous consequences for the people he loved. (This annotation contains an image)
Listen to this famous song by clicking the link below. How does the mood of the music compare with the tension of this scene? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on evidence from the text, what is Wendy most likely being led to imagine?
Why does Wendy look back in the elevator after Jack announced that nothing was in it?
Notice how the author refers to time throughout this chapter. Danny begins by playing with this strange clock. Then, he hears voices shouting about the "stroke of midnight." At the Overlook, time seems to get all mixed up: ghosts mingle with the living, and events from the past seem to go on occurring. As you continue this chapter, look for additional ways in which the author manipulates time.
Which phrase in this passage helps illustrate Danny's idea that in the Overlook, "all times were one"?
In Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation, the scene in which Danny discovers the meaning of REDRUM is very different from the way it is originally written in the novel. Watch the clip below and compare and contrast it with the original text. (This annotation contains a video)
According to Danny's vision, when is REDRUM supposed to occur?
For the first time in a long time, the reader is exposed to both a new point of view and a new setting. How do both affect the reader's mood after such a dark turn of events for Danny back at the Overlook?
Why is smelling oranges significant to Dick?
It is ironic that while living the good life in Florida, Dick has been thinking a lot about death and dying: so much so that he has made out a will. Could this be an example of foreshadowing?
Why does Dick experience such an intense physical reaction to Danny's communication?
Dick knows that he can get out of work by appealing to the man's hidden prejudices. Do you think this is something Dick learned through his psychic ability, or is it something he's learned from experience?
Which of the following most accurately summarizes how Dick feels about being summoned to help Danny?
The author is introducing a flashback through Dick's point of view. Why is it important for the reader to see the Overlook through Dick's eyes?
Dick's point of view confirms Mrs. Massey's ghost. What other strange happenings does his flashback confirm for the reader? Use details from the text to answer.
The police officer is going to make Hallorann take a sobriety test. Why is this ironic, considering Hallorann's mission?
Which word best describes Danny's tone in this passage?
For such a chilling, desperate moment in the novel, this passage is written beautifully. Notice the author's use of alliteration: "small silvery key... soft and sighing... the somnolent hum of summer wasps." Watch the video below for an example of alliteration from another famous work. What does the purposeful use of alliteration add to this scene? (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following statements most closely has the same meaning as the highlighted passage?
Jack's flashback to his father using fire to kill the wasps in the nest is especially significant considering the symbolism of the wasps' nest that Jack discovers at the Overlook. How might allowing the hotel to be destroyed be the answer to Jack's problems? Do you think he will go through with it?
Why is this time significant?
In this strange, unsettling encounter, the dogman refers to Horace Derwent, the owner of the Overlook back in 1945, during the masquerade ball. Remember what you learned earlier about Derwent.
Is Danny brave? Use evidence not only from this passage but also from incidents throughout the novel to explain your answer.
Do you agree with Hallorann's summary of the Torrance family as "stuck up high because they didn't know what they were getting into"? Could another argument be made about why they have gotten into their current situation?
How is Danny's latest psychic communication with Dick different from the others?
The title of this chapter contains a pun, or a play on words. For more about this technique, watch the video below. In this case, what is the double meaning of "drinks on the house"? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on details throughout the book, which character trait of Jack's do the ghosts of the Overlook most exploit in order to get what they want from him?
According to the author of this novel, this fragment of a poem is actually from something that he, Stephen King, wrote while he was in college. What other semi-autobiographical details have you come across in the novel?
Who is Roger?
Grady tells Jack, "you've always been the caretaker." How does this detail fit into the idea that time is distorted at the Overlook? What other details have supported this idea?
Based on the way the word is used in the passage, which of the following is the best synonym for "willful"?
"Tuxedo Junction" is another song that was a Glenn Miller hit in the early 1940's. Click the link below to hear the music. Jack feels like the music doesn't contain much soul: a pun, since soul music originates a decade or two later. What might be the other meaning for Jack's feeling that the music has no soul? (This annotation contains a video)
Like the man that Derwent dresses in a dog suit and then commands, Jack feels like he is being driven by a force outside himself. The bar feels like a cell, but he can't escape it and the power that alcohol has over him. He is seeing ghosts and images of murder. At this point, who or what is commanding Jack? Does the author leave you with any hope for him?
The sharp-faced woman's comment seems to go deeper than just a simple observation about the plane's turbulence. Could she possibly be referring to Hallorann's mission? If so, how could she know about it?
How does the encounter with the sharp-faced woman affect Dick?
How does the scene in the image below compare with Hallorann's experience in trying to get to the Overlook? (This annotation contains an image)
Who is Dick talking to when he says, "Thanks, Mother"?
Jack's descent into insanity has been happening for some time and doesn't exactly come as a surprise, thanks to the amount of foreshadowing the author provides. What remains uncertain, however, is whether Jack would have lost his mind if the family had never come to the Overlook, or if they would have left it via snowmobile when they had the chance. Based on evidence from the novel, what do you think the author wants the reader to believe?
Which of the following is most accurate regarding Wendy's long-term worries about Jack and their marriage?
Wendy feels that she may have to fight Jack to the death in order to save Danny, and she's not completely sure she can do it. Again, her self-doubt haunts her. Based on what you know about Wendy and her love for her family, to what extent do you think she's willing to go in order to save Danny and herself?
What does Wendy mean by the thought that "the worst thing was that it had all come back to this, she and her drunken husband"?
While Jack's attitude toward Wendy is clearly unjustified and shows the extent of his madness, is there any truth at all to any of his accusations? Wendy has been jealous of his relationship with Danny at times, and she has always been afraid of acting like her mother. What theme could the author be pointing out about truth and a person's ability to distort it in order to inflict pain?
Why does Danny want to sleep?
If Danny is who the hotel wants, and if Danny is the one who's seen the possibility of all these happening from the very beginning, then who is the protagonist of this novel: Danny or Jack? In either case, who is the antagonist? Watch the video below to learn more about how to identify each. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is it ironic that Danny is worrying about Jack?
Where is Jack at this point? Wendy has locked him in the pantry, which she had noted before was so tightly sealed that nothing, not even a mouse, would able to get through the door. If he is still in the pantry, why is he suddenly silent, and who is making all the noise in the hotel? If he isn't there anymore, how did he get out? By putting these questions in the reader's head, the author heightens suspense.
Jack now sees his father as his own sort of tragic hero. When Jack thinks that he can now "appreciate Daddy's wisdom," this can be a sign of Jack's own downfall as a parent and as a human being.
How does Jack get out of the pantry?
While the ghosts at the Overlook certainly precipitate Jack's downfall, to the point where Grady even tells him what to do and unlocks the pantry door, much research has been done about the cyclical nature of domestic violence: according to statistics, over 1/3 of abused children grow up to become abusers themselves. Who is responsible for Jack's descent into violence: his father, himself, the ghosts, or all three?
From what you understand to be true about his character, why would Hallorann be praying and apologizing at the same time?
Twice, Hallorann has been comforted by strangers on his seemingly impossible mission to save Danny. How does this detail lend a hopeful tone to what has become an incredibly dark story?
The psychic force that sends this message to Hallorann is the same one that screamed at Danny to "get out" of Jack's head suddenly. In both cases, the voice is violent and obscene. What effect does this voice have on both Hallorann and Danny?
Which of the following best explains the author's constant references to time throughout this chapter?
This chapter's title, now fully understood by the reader, hints that the climax, or turning point of the novel, has finally arrived. If you need to review plot structure, watch the video below. During and after the climax of a novel, the main character is often forever changed as a result. As you read this section of the novel, pay close attention to the development of each of our three main characters: Danny, Jack, and Wendy. (This annotation contains a video)
Which phrase in the highlighted passage helps create a secretive, sly tone?
Unmasking at midnight has been a common motif throughout the novel. In this case, the unmasking is a metaphor for finally seeing the "truth" about Jack and what he has become. As you read this disturbing scene, though, consider whether Jack is truly a monster.
When Jack repeats, "I'll give you your medicine," who is he echoing?
It's sadly ironic that the history that Jack thought was hidden and would be so fascinating to people if he just wrote about it actually seems to be common knowledge to the people of Sidewinder... and they're just disgusted by it. How might things have been different if Jack had talked to someone like Larry Durkin before taking the job, or if Wendy had met him earlier?
Why is Durkin's statement here especially tragic?
If you've never ridden a snowmobile before, it can be difficult to understand how fast they can actually move. To get an idea of what Dick's experiencing, watch the video below, but keep in mind that Dick is traveling up curving mountain roads at night and in blowing snow. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on your understanding of the text, which of the following should finish the sentence that Hallorann begins in this passage?
Which of the following is not an obstacle that Hallorann faces on his way to try to help Danny?
The image below shows the cycle of domestic violence. Before reading this chapter, take a moment to think about Wendy and Jack's relationship, as the author is leading you to do by the title of this chapter. Does their relationship follow the pattern below? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the title, "Wendy and Jack," have a tragic overtone?
Based on evidence from the text, from where is Jack most likely drawing his inhuman strength at this point?
The author uses a literary device called understatement in this passage. A famous example of understatement is shown below. How can understatement contribute to a passage's sense of irony? (This annotation contains an image)
What is most likely responsible for the "high, insectile buzzing sound"?
Which of the following is most likely the reason why the hedge animals are getting in Hallorann's way?
Once again, the author uses personification when describing the Overlook. In what ways could you consider the hotel to be another character in the novel, rather than just a setting? (This annotation contains an image)
Which character is Jack unknowingly imitating when he says that Danny needs to "be chastised"?
Notice this chapter's title. When Tony stops "visiting" Danny, even though his visits had become disturbing, Danny is devastated. Also, remember that Dr. Edmonds asks Jack and Wendy if they understand the significance of Tony's name; they do, but the reader doesn't. Before reading this chapter, consider these details and others that you have read. Who is Tony, and what is his purpose?
What word does the author use to let the reader know that Tony is sympathetic to Danny?
The secret of Tony -Daniel Anthony Torrance- is revealed. He is an older version of Danny himself. Tony knows what will happen to Danny because he, the future version of Danny, has already experienced it. Based on details throughout the novel, did you guess Tony's true identity?
What does Tony want Danny to do?
Which of the following is not likely to be a reason why this passage is told from Danny's point of view?
This phrase has been repeated by both Wendy and by Danny - something they have both forgotten which might save them. Do you know what detail Wendy and Danny are struggling to remember?
Notice how the author has been referring to Jack lately as "it." Why?
Based on the text, which of the following best describes Danny in this passage?
In this scene, Jack's humanity returns. He is no longer "it"; he is Jack Torrance, Danny's beloved, flawed father who desperately loves his son, but who isn't able to fight off the inner and outer demons which consume him. Why do you think the author includes this moment of complexity, rather than letting Jack remain a simple villain?
What happens to Jack Torrance?
Danny remembers what he and his mother had forgotten: the boiler, which Watson warned Jack about so carefully, has not been emptied. The Overlook is in danger of exploding. Think of how often the motif of fire and the Overlook being damaged or destroyed by it has been repeated in this novel. Now, those references can be seen as an example of foreshadowing.
Before this climactic section of the novel, you watched a video about how the turning point of a novel usually changes a main character forever. Hallorann notices "how the boy had changed." Although Danny is alive, how has some of his innocence been forever lost? What has he gained?
Although Danny arguably saves them all, which characters have also acted bravely and heroically in the spirit of the Overlook?
Who is the manager/caretaker? Jack wanted to know the answer to this for a long time. Since this character is not Ullman, Grady, or even Jack, who is actually in charge of the Overlook Hotel?
Which word best describes the tone of the highlighted passage?
Yet again, wasps are used as a metaphor in this novel. This time, however, the metaphor comes from Dick's point of view, and it is a bit different. This time, how does the "huge dark shape" that arises from the Presidential Suite relate to the wasps from Dick's memory? Are all of the Overlook's spirits dying in the fire, or are some of them escaping, looking for another host?
Based on what you know about Danny, which of the following is most likely the reason why he won't go in the equipment shed?
What is happening to Dick as he looks at the roque mallets? Compare his thoughts to Jack's. Since this book varies its point of view, it's easy for the reader to see the comparison between these characters.
The harrowing night at the Overlook ends, and Wendy, Danny, and Hallorann all make it out. Now that you've finished this intense part of the novel, what is scarier to you: the hostile ghosts and spirits of the Overlook, or the psychological trauma that Jack experiences and forces upon his family? Why do you think the author chooses to include both ideas in one novel?
How much time has passed since the last night at the Overlook and this epilogue?
Danny is not the only character who is forever changed after his experiences at the Overlook. Wendy is also a dynamic character. To review the difference between static and dynamic characters, watch the video below. Then, answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is not a way in which Wendy is a dynamic character?
Remembering the role that secrets and hidden shame played in the destruction of the Torrance family and the Overlook's history, why is it probably a good thing that there can be no secrets between Danny and Hallorann?
Dick's advice for Danny is important, and it's probably something that Jack Torrance could have benefited from hearing as well. Summarize the advice that Hallorann gives Danny in this passage.
Quiz Three, Parts Four and Five