Right from the start of the book, in chapter one the Job Interview, one cannot fail to pick a sympathetic nature of Jacks character. This is a man who is determined to give his wife Wendy and son Danny a good life despite his past failures. For instance, after Ullmans soar history about the Overlook Hotel and the tragedy that had befallen the last winter caretaker, he is quick to assure him that he had retired from drinking and that he not a good candidate for cabin fever, the two things believed to have led to the awful event. He is determined for a fresh start.
During Jacks flashback in chapter 3 of how he snapped his sons hand because of messing up his study, the reader is able to get a vivid image of extreme temperament problems the guy was going through. There is no normal person that would react the way he did to a baby in diapers. In fact, after the flashback, he is shown the craving for alcohol, another trait that has been critical to the plot of the story.
Danny is that character in a book that you fall in love with, not only because of their supernatural powers but also because they are kind, patient, intelligent and forgiving. He has been consistently been shown putting up with his dads demons despite the several cases of physical abuse he has undergone due to Jacks tempers, alcoholism, and disturbed life. The chapter Shadowland is arguably the primary part of the book that builds most of the emotions on the reader about Danny character. He sits on the curb anxiously waiting for his dad, and at this tender age, he is able to understand the financial troubles his family is going through. Given his psychic powers, he is able to read through his moms mind and sympathizes with Bad Thing and divorce thoughts (chapter 4).
Both the hotel and Jack have trouble overcoming their past. Explore
The hotel has been shown throughout the book like some sort of an old haunted castle with a dark history. During the Job interview Ullman states that since its completion in 1909, the hotel has had more than 4 owners, each of them selling because they could not handle it. The hotel houses the secrets of over 40 mysterious deaths most of them as a result of suicide. Just when things are getting better, horrible tragedies like that of the former winter caretaker, who killed him and the family emerge. Ullman is constantly fighting to keep the hotel out of the dailies but the past scandals seems to be bringing the hotel back to its knees (chapter 3).
Jack, on the other hand, has been shown as a victim of childhood abuse. In the Wasps nest, when he was having a conversation with his wife Wendy, the memories of how he loved his abusive father cause him hallucinations. That night, he experiences an intense dream of when he was nine and his father brutally beating his mother with a cane. The dream triggers him to destroy the radiophone at Ullmans office and the whole thing is messy and scary to his wife. In fact, when Danny reads his fathers mind, he sees a troubled man who would really love to take rescue with alcohol and color TV but he cant afford to mess up with his marriage. He is trying very hard to shake off his past experiences but they keep dragging him back with nightmares and hallucinations.
King, S. (2002). The shining. Simon and Schuster.
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