Welcome to an insightful journey through the world of 'The Shining - Review, Summary, & Analysis,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site, ReadingAndThinking.com.
Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous book reviews, many of which can be found on this site. I'm also a regular contributor to other websites and publications.
I have received many requests to review the book 'The Shining' which was written by Stephen King'. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert Reviews, Summary, and Analysis in this article.
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Breathless horror classic!
The pinnacle of "Horror Master" Stephen King!
The little boy Danny was born with a kind of super sensory precognition ability - "The Shining". With an ominous dream, he, along with his father Jack Torrance, and his mother Wendy, came to the Good Hope Hotel in the deep mountains of Colorado—Jack had to be the caretaker of the hotel in the long winter because of his livelihood.
Since Jack's family moved into the Good Hope Hotel, weird and strange events happened one after another: Hornets killed by pesticides came back in swarms, hedges cut into animal shapes were ready to move, and footsteps sounded in the unoccupied room... …Jack accidentally found a newspaper clipping book about the history of the hotel among the old paper piles in the basement.
The empty and gloomy hotel makes the family feel restless. In the heavy and eerie silence, madness and despair are spreading.
Yeon... Danny's "shining" is getting stronger.
In this snow-covered, isolated Haowang Hotel, apart from the Torrance family, who else is sharing the hotel with them in the dark?
Book: The Shining
The Shining is a 1977 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It is King's third published novel and first hardback bestseller; its success firmly established King as a preeminent author in the horror genre. Wikipedia
- Originally published: January 28, 1977
- Author: Stephen King
- Genres: Novel, Horror fiction, Gothic fiction, Psychological Horror, Supernatural Fiction
- Adaptations: The Shining (1980), The Shining (1997), The Shining, Stephen King's The Shining
- Original language: English
- Followed by: Doctor Sleep
|The Shining by Stephen King|
About the Author: Stephen King
Stephen King (Stephen King, 1947-)
One of the writers with the most works, the most readers, and the greatest reputation in history.
He has written scripts, written columns, directed tubes, worked as a producer, and even guest-starred as an actor.
The total sales volume of his works exceeds 350 million copies, and more than 150 film and television works are adapted from his works, thus setting a Guinness World Record.
Hailed by The New York Times as a "Master of Modern Thriller Novels", it is also the "King of Horror Novels" in the minds of readers.
Winner of the Bram Stoker Award six times, the International Horror Literature Association Award six times, and the O. Henry Award in 1996.
In 2003, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Book Award for "inheriting the great tradition of paying attention to plot and atmosphere in American literature, and embodying all kinds of beautiful and tragic moral truths deep in the human soul".
In 2007, he was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Master Award - Lifetime Achievement Award.
Known for his horror novels, he vividly summarizes the entire development of this genre of novels, and his works also include science fiction, fantasy novels, and other novel genres.
But his works are far beyond the category of genre novels. He is not a cheap horror wholesaler. His works go deep into the heart, question humanity, and show the soul. Buckle's Master of Literature.
Excerpts from the original text
Danny was staring at her, maybe from the flustered expression on her face, he was forming his own view of the problem. She thought that to the children, the motives and behaviors of adults are as big and ominous as the monsters in the dark forest of shadows.—— Quoted from page 14
After dragging for two full months, I finally finished watching The Shining, but what’s interesting is that in the climax, Jack started to officially hunt down Wendy and Danny. Will want to know the ending of this haunted hotel.
Personally, I feel that compared with the movie novel version, it is undoubtedly more complete and the characters are more three-dimensional and complex. The film shows more of the impact on the screen.
I think everyone should remember the scene when the blood started to spread throughout the hotel lobby. The Jack portrayed by the director is pure madness, Wendy is pure cowardice, and Danny is pure immaturity.
I feel that after reading the novel, my emotions toward everyone are more complicated.
Jack didn't start off as a bad husband, bad father, bad teacher, or bad friend. The novel is more about portraying his complex psychology.
When I was young, I watched my father abuse my mother, but my mother kept silent and even lied to my father.
As the youngest child in the family, he watched his older brothers join the army and leave home, but he could only grow up in this environment.
After growing up, with Wendy and Danny, the pressure at home is naturally great. But I feel even more afraid that I will become the original father. Coupled with alcoholism, conflicts with students, and his own bad temper, he finally fucked everything up.
So compared to other people, Overlook is a life-saving straw in his eyes, but unfortunately, this is an evil hotel, which leads to the following tragedy. But thankfully, he was a good father in the end.
What touched me the most was that part, because Danny saw through the crazy Jack at a glance that the hotel made a ghost, and said bluntly,
"You are not my father, you are the devil of this hotel. You lied to my father, but you are just a liar. There is nothing to fear from you."
Jack finally regained consciousness a little bit at the end and told Danny to run with his last strength and let Danny remember that he loved his son very much.
I think to a certain extent here, he also misses what his father said to him, instead of just remembering his father's evil all his life.
Wendy is actually the character with the biggest contrast between the movie and the novel. Her image in the movie is cowardly, nagging, and neurotic.
The audience may feel disgusted with her and even have sympathy and understanding for Jack's behavior. But the difference is that in the novel, her image is calm and independent, a strong female image.
So many readers will wonder why Wendy is willing to continue living with Jack. Because she loves Jack, she tries her best to help Jack get back on track.
After Jack caused Danny to break his arm, he thought about divorcing him for Danny. But in the end, because he saw Jack's change, he wanted to save his marriage.
But it feels like what Wendy is most afraid of is becoming her mother, becoming the woman who disgusts her husband and children, so she doesn't allow her life to live like that.
However, she knew that her husband would never come back again, so she made a strong choice to fight against the demon possessing Jack to protect Danny.
Danny in the novel has the ability to shine and is more sensible than in the movie, and he understands the world of adults better than he himself knows.
Although he knew what was going to happen before he even entered overlook. But he chooses to trust his parents, more importantly, because he knows that his father needs this place, this job, just as this place needs his abilities.
The constant nightmares and flashes of misfortune, all of which lead him to the climax of the novel, when Overlook wants to devour them all, his first reaction is relief and fatigue, because all this has happened, and he will never There is nothing more painful than to herald misfortune and watch it happen. So in the whole novel, Danny is actually the most distressed.
I personally think that the novel The Shining is loved by many people because of the author's portrayal of Overlook.
As the book says, in The Overlook "a long and nightmarish masquerade went on for years", so that in the end words are meaningless. At least it brought me a spontaneous chill and horror.
Book Review & Analysis
The eerie stems from something familiar yet repressed. When Jack's family came to the Lookout Hotel for the first time, Danny suddenly felt strange when he saw the appearance of the hotel and the surrounding environment.
This place seemed very familiar. In fact, this is the place Danny saw in a blizzard a long time ago (a hallucination). The strange reappearance of depression is a memory in a state of oblivion.
Consciousness requires that a part of the repressed memory be stored in the unconscious and suddenly reappear under some accidental circumstances, resulting in a sense of weirdness.
The weirdness of "The Shining" does not come from ghosts but from the fear of the relationship within the family. Specifically, it is an anxiety about being castrated caused by the Oedipus complex.
In Greek mythology, Oedipus inadvertently committed the act of killing his father and marrying his mother.
Freud used this myth to refer to the son’s attachment to his mother, subconsciously regarded his father as a competitor, and at the same time realistically Admitting that his father is stronger than himself, he suppresses his sexual impulse toward his mother, and psychologically regards himself as his father, turning his hatred of his father into imitating his father's behavior and attitude, so as to win his mother's love.
The novel shows many times that Danny hopes to grow up quickly, but the mother Wendy is very doting on her son and even feels sad about the fact that her son will grow up soon.
What Wendy can't imagine is that the mother's love for the child is the source of the child's endless sexual excitement and pleasure zone sexual satisfaction.
Danny received excessive care from his mother, and libido excitement was aroused, but it was not satisfied and utilized, and the excessive libido was transformed into restlessness, forming neurotic anxiety.
He had admired his father very much, and when he noticed that his father stood between him and his mother, his original identification was tinged with hostility. Danny regards his mother as his first emotional object, and he is jealous and afraid of his father.
He regards his father as his opponent, but he also fears that his father will castrate his genitals, resulting in the so-called "castration anxiety".
On the surface, he imitated his father in order to gain his mother's love. When Danny saw the fence trimmed in the shape of animals in front of the hotel, he felt the animals move, and the previous fear experience was stimulated.
This eerie experience still comes from the anxiety of being castrated. Danny also had two dreams related to his father, one dreamed that his father was in a car accident, and the other dreamed that his father hurt himself.
The elements of the dream content are the recurrence of his recent life and thought impressions, the distorted reproduction of the material his mind has acquired from waking life, this memory stimulates the fixation of the field of meaningless memory associated with him, forms his dream.
Both dreams are briefly mentioned in the novel without showing details, so a detailed analysis cannot be carried out.
But it can still be inferred that the previous dream was the fulfillment of Danny's subconscious desire, that is, he wanted his father to die, because this father was a rival for his mother on the one hand, and on the other hand was very fierce to himself.
However, this subconsciousness was suppressed by the conscious, and the hostility in the subconscious conflicted with the desire to love the father and hope for family harmony in the subconscious, resulting in anxiety and self-blame.
Danny subconsciously transforms this internal pressure into external oppression, and projects the stimuli from the inside to the outside, so that he can play the role of a protective layer against stimuli and use it as an internal means of resisting these stimuli.
What he dreamed was not his hostility to his father, but his father coming to hurt him.
So the latter dream actually transferred Danny's subconscious self-blame and inner conflict to the other party, finding a legitimate reason for his defense. After Jack injured the child, the conflict between father and son intensified sharply.
The reason why Jack beat Danny was that Danny had quietly stayed in his father's room, opened every door and every drawer in the study, the manuscript was discarded all over the floor, and beer was poured on it.
This is Danny's serious violation of his father's authority. In order to punish this kind of overstepping, Jack was so angry that he broke Danny's arm.
Before this confrontation, Jack had another fumble and threw Danny to the ground. For Danny, the familiar and authoritative father gradually became strange, scary, and unstable. This intensified his anxiety about being castrated. The stronger the castration complex, the more severe the domination of the ego by the superego.
Depression develops gradually when the superego blames and abuses the ego. Although Danny can't get rid of the interference of castration anxiety, in his consciousness he very much hopes that the family will always remain warm and harmonious, and the tense family relationship means that the family may break up at any time.
Every time he thinks that his parents will divorce, Danny will cry. This is what worries him the most. Before taking over the hotel, Jack had a series of causally connected setbacks. He was teaching at Stoveton School, and George Hatfield, a rich kid in his class, joined the debate team headed by Jack.
Because George stuttered in a debate, Jack fired George mercilessly, and then he was retaliated by the other party and then injured the other party, which directly led to his unemployment.
After being unemployed, Jack lost his source of income, and his amateur literary creation was on the verge of exhaustion, and he was very anxious. Due to the inherent strong self-esteem of man, Jack has no way to confide his helplessness to anyone, and his depression is difficult to vent.
He used to be addicted to alcohol, but under the pressure of his wife and his inner struggle, he suppressed his love for The desire for alcohol, when he was decadent, he relapsed into the habit of alcoholism, which led to the deterioration of the relationship between husband and wife.
Jack believed that the root of his alcoholism was an unconscious desire to be safe from Stoveton and all creative impulses that were killing him. Drunkenness often results in a loss of sanity and sense of proportion.
The fact that Jack accidentally injured his son caused Wendy to completely lose her trust in her husband, so whenever Danny felt a little uncomfortable, Jack would be the first object of Wendy's suspicion. Jack was deeply wronged and annoyed by this.
A series of vicious chain reactions made the future of this family shaky. These setbacks took a permanent toll on Jack's ego. This injury hastened the formation of the feeling of inferiority which is common to neurotics.
Jack's ego faces triple pressure: one comes from the outside world, the other comes from the libido of the id (specifically manifested as the urge to drink), and the third comes from the demandingness of the superego.
He was originally a grumpy person. After a series of setbacks, under the condition of extreme mental stress and long-term isolation from the world, the inner devil could easily take advantage of it.
Jack often wanted to provoke people, and afterward, he would wonder what his own motives were for doing so. Subconsciously he seems to want to self-destruct.
He managed to get a job as caretaker of the Lookout Hotel but called the manager and threatened to make the hotel's scandalous past public.
"Wendy accused him of wanting to die, but he didn't have the necessary guts to support a desire to die, so he tried to destroy himself through others, and let others cut off part of himself or his family time and time again"
This is a typical compulsive repeat.
Through this compulsive repetition, the familiar pain is experienced again and again. The compulsion to repeat has a diabolical quality, so powerful that it overrides the pleasure principle and imparts a certain tyranny to psychic life.
The compulsion to repeat can be traced back to the death drive. People have two instincts, one is the instinct of life, that is, love and constructiveness, and the real instinct of life is the sexual instinct.
However, the instinct of self-defense also points to the growth and improvement of life, so he merges the two into the instinct of life; the second is the instinct of death, that is, hate and destructive energy.
The death instinct is an instinct towards destruction and aggression in every human being. It is an urge to destroy order and return to a pre-life state, and this urge is directed at ourselves at first.
The death instinct derives from all destructive behaviors such as attack, destruction, and war. The attacking drive is to transfer the object of destruction from oneself to others, leading to attacks, hatred, and murder of others.
On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Jack's life and death instincts dissociate, and the death instinct takes over.
The two previous tragedies formed bad psychological hints for Jack's family. The first tragedy: Jack's colleague Stenger had a nervous breakdown due to the pressure of family and work, and even attempted to kill his family, and was finally sent to the madhouse.
This incident left a deep impression on Jack's family and became a shadow in Danny's heart. The second tragedy: Grady, the former caretaker of the Lookout Hotel, suffered from claustrophobia, killed his wife and daughter, and then committed suicide.
Jack didn't take it seriously when he heard about Grady at first. He thought that his family was well-educated people and that they could entertain themselves by reading in their spare time, instead of being bored and grumpy like the uneducated Grady.
But then gradually he began to imagine the event in his mind constantly. These two tragedies are like a preview of what is about to happen to them. In that hallucinatory hotel ballroom, Jack even meets Grady himself, who continues to verbally incite him to kill his wife and children.
In addition to the psychological implications of these two events, traumatic memory is an important factor that leads to Jack's madness. Jack has a traumatic memory formed in childhood: when he was a child, his father often beat his mother until she was injured and hospitalized, and her mother just endured it silently. For young Jack, his father was like a demagogue.
The demon came back when he was mentally weak and tricked him into killing his wife and children. The father became the trigger for triggering the death instinct, fueling Jack's destructive, aggressive, and self-destructive tendencies. Jack fought against the demon several times but failed in the end, and went back to his father's old path, even more ferocious.
When Jack completely loses his mind, his image becomes weird, because at this time he has lost himself and acts unconsciously.
Freud explained "traumatic experience" in his "Introduction to Psychoanalysis" as follows: "If an experience provides a strong stimulus to the mind in a short period of time, the mind can no longer use normal methods. to cope or to adapt, and to cause permanent disturbances in the distribution of psychic energy, We call this kind of experience "traumatic experience".
Trauma experience forms a nightmare in the heart, which will accelerate the process of disorder when people's hearts are fragile, resulting in a tragic ending. In Chapter 1, Danny’s family comes to the Lookout Hotel and sees the hotel’s chef Halleran.
The first time Halleran saw Danny, he said directly, “You have a special ability. I always call this special ability a flash. spirit. You're more brilliant than anyone I've ever met. "People with the "shine" can read other people's hearts, predict what may happen in the future, and even see the past.
Both Halleran and Danny have a strong "shine", so they can even talk without opening their mouth. Halleran comforted Danny that the weird phenomena he saw were just like the illustrations in the book and did not really exist, so they would not hurt him.
If you are really in danger, use Intense thoughts to observe him, so that he can respond quickly even if he is thousands of miles away. "Shining" is very similar to what people usually call telepathy.
Telepathy implies a premise that the event involves someone, and another person (The recipient of the message) has a strong emotional focus on him" "Telepathy is a primitive and ancient method of communication between individuals, and in phylogenetic evolution.
It has been better communicated by means of signals received by the sensory organs way. But this older way should still exist and still work under certain conditions. Strange things touched the traces of the animistic thought activities left in people's hearts so that these traces clearly Have manifested."
Therefore, the supernatural function of The Shining is also a major factor causing the strange effect. Danny is indeed an abnormal existence. In addition to the special function of the Shining, he also has a so-called clone.
When Danny said that there was a little boy named Tony who often appeared in front of him, Jack and Wendy began to notice the abnormality of the child because it was obvious that there was no real existence of such a person, Danny had severe hallucinations.
Jack called in a doctor to treat Danny. Interestingly, doctor Edmunds used Freud's theory when analyzing the disease: "There seems to be a buffer zone between people's consciousness and subconsciousness, and there lives a terrible Puritan.
These prosecutors only allow a small, symbolic portion of consciousness to emerge in the person's mind. That's the essence of Freud's theory. However, it says a lot about what we know about brain interactions." "The Puritans "/"Prosecutor" refers to the ego.
According to the doctor, Danny's phantom clone is not a serious problem, because many children, including himself when he was a child, have had similar experiences.
The playmate doctor, who can only be seen by himself, believes that what Danny possesses "is not super-sensory supernatural powers, but the intuition that humans have had since ancient times, but it is extremely keen in Danny."
In a situation where family relations are tense and imagination is extremely rich, Ni seems to have a tendency to sink deeper and deeper into the mild schizophrenia that children usually have, so it is necessary to help him distinguish between illusion and reality.
Close family ties help to escape the illusion of Tony. The avatar is associated with things and concepts such as reflections in the mirror, shadows, patron saints, belief in the existence of the soul, and fear of death, and is the projection of people's repressed psychological desires.
The subject's inner self should be hidden, but the double can project this hidden self. Doppelgänger was originally intended to protect the self from damage, and it was a strong resistance to death... The doppelgänger was invented to prevent the self from dying.
However, after a certain level of self-protection, the avatar will become a threat to the self's life. Since there can only be oneself, the presence of another will undoubtedly have a destabilizing effect on the previous self.
After the original narcissistic complex disappears, the "double" acquires a new function of self-examination, which is the so-called "conscience". "'Doppelgänger' contains not only what is incompatible with self-criticism, but also all those futures that we still fantasize about realizing but have not yet achieved, self-seeking destroyed by harsh external conditions, repressed impulsive behavior that nourishes the illusion of free will.
"Tony is a doppelgänger that Danny conjures up after the family moves to a new setting. This image serves multiple purposes. First, Tony is a product of his awareness of self-preservation.
In Danny's imagination, Tony is eleven years old, can drive a car, and looks like a complex of himself and his father. This is obviously Danny's expectation for himself, hoping to have a stronger self to protect himself from harm.
After moving, the new environment is both new and unfamiliar to Danny, which makes him fearful.
What's more, the family relationship had become tense at the time. Under such circumstances, Danny fantasized about this double to help him overcome loneliness and anxiety.
In addition, Tony is also a projection of Danny's desire for knowledge. At first, Danny was very happy every time he saw Tony, because Tony often pointed him to some interesting things, and sometimes made him read the signs.
At that time, the Jacks happened to be teaching Danny to read and write, so this can be regarded as Danny's subconscious desire to grow up and master knowledge, and Tony is the projection object of this desire for knowledge.
Later, Danny discovered that this avatar had a wonderful foreboding effect. For example, once Danny saw Tony tell himself that there was a box under the stairs, which contained the script written by Jack, and that Jack had written it. Ke looked around for the box but couldn't find it, thinking that the box was lost.
At this time Danny said that the box was under the stairs, and Jack really found the box there. However, the weird thing is that the basement under the stairs is always locked until Jack enters.
Similar premonition experiences have happened many times, and the frequent fulfillment seems very strange. Later, Tony begins to guide Danny to many strange phenomena, such as the mysterious word REDRUM (at the end of the story, Danny finally finds out that the word was written backward for MURDER, that is, "murder"), and blood, twisted shadow.
At this time, Tony is no longer a guardian god and a partner who leads knowledge, but more and more like a devil, like a nightmare in Danny's heart. Tony also showed Danny a short-handled bat in the early days, and it turned out that this bat was the murder weapon that Jack, who was later possessed by the devil, chased and killed Danny.
These images formed a severe compulsion in Danny's mind and eyes. If you compare Danny and Jack, it is not difficult to find that in the development of the plot, Danny generally shows an upward and mature trend, while Jack shows a downward and destructive trend.
Danny's confused self-awareness revealed from the avatar bravely abandoned the illusion, but Jack was insane and was swallowed by the dark side of his heart and turned into a demon.
At the end of the story, Jack has become unrecognizable. The author directly refers to him as a "monster", and Danny finds that "the monster is not his father. Jack has lost himself because he can't distinguish between thoughts and actions, and has been possessed by the devil.", engulfed.
At this moment Danny can distinguish the unreal from the real, he breaks away from the so-called animism, and Tony's vision is thrown away. It is easiest to feel when one is not sure whether animism is real or not Strange, once you no longer believe in animism, fear will no longer exist.
Danny denounces the devil as wearing the mask of his father and escaping from the claws of the devil. The devil perishes with the burning lookout hotel. In the end, Danny realizes his own wish hidden in his heart: to grow up quickly and eliminate the castration complex.
The weirdness of "The Shining" is reflected in the abnormal behavior caused by the recurrence of repressed events and compulsive repetition. The so-called devil is just the emotional impulse of human beings A kind of projection.
Although the projection mechanism can resist external dangers and balance personal inner emotional conflicts and emotional impulses, it will affect the correct observation and judgment of the individual, easily cause contradictions and conflicts in interpersonal relationships, and lack the constructiveness of the individual. the function is also vulnerable to attack from internal dangers.
To project libidinal dangers outward is never completely successful, and for this reason, other defense systems are employed against the anxiety that may arise. The danger of the devil to people is not directly harming people, but indirectly controlling their actions by making people see and occupying people's thoughts.
In the final analysis, first, sweep away the "ghost" in one's heart and expel it from reality, and ghosts will naturally have nowhere to hide.
Conclusion: The Shining by Stephen King
My first reaction after watching is that it is much better than the movie portrayal!!! Danny is the protagonist. The book also perfectly interprets the power of the shining, then Jack's own native family's trauma, and the accumulation of alcoholism and loss of control.
He has a weak shining ability and is completely controlled by Outlook. In fact, his favorite character is Wendy, which is really much better than in the movie. Calm and independent. Not as neurotic as in the movie. I feel that she is trying her best to maintain Jack’s marriage.
I refuse to be like a mother in my heart, and I feel that outlook is more magical in the novel. Since the Jack family entered the door, I never thought about letting them out...
The novel is at its best when it frantically dissects a family's mind. Compared with the numerous narrations in "Land Abandoned by God", now that I think about it, the useless narrations of The Shining movie are very clever.
King's text gives far more information than the movie, how Jack lost control, how Wendy lost trust, and how Danny's mind-reading skills gradually reflected the readers' thoughts. Can't substitute the faces in the movie.
The ending is rough, I like the ending of the movie and the explanation of Dick Halloran more.