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The Shining by Stephen King book review

"The Shining by Stephen King book review" - Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. 

But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote... and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

The Shining by Stephen King

the-shining-by-stephen-king-book-review

About the author 

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. 

When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over their physical care them. 

Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

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

The shining book summary 

Short Comment

The 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...





Book Review & Analysis of The Shining

The shining plot explained

The weirdness stems from something familiar but suppressed. When the Jack family came to the Lookout Hotel for the first time, Danny suddenly felt weird when seeing the appearance of the hotel and the surrounding environment. The place seemed very familiar. In fact, this is the place Danny once saw in a blizzard a long time ago (a hallucination). 

The weird recurrence as a repressed recurrence is a memory in a state of oblivion. Part of the repressed memory that consciousness requires is stored in the unconscious and suddenly reappears in some accidental circumstances, resulting in a sense of weirdness. The weirdness of "The Shining" does not come from ghosts, but from the fear of family relationships. Specifically, it is the anxiety of 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 his son’s attachment to his mother, subconsciously treating his father as a competitor, and at the same time realistically Acknowledge that the father is stronger and more powerful than oneself, thereby suppressing the sexual impulse towards the mother, and psychologically consider himself the father, and turn the hatred of the father into imitating the behavior and attitude of the father in order to win the love of the mother. 

The novel has repeatedly expressed that Danny hopes to grow up soon, while the mother Wendy is very doting on his son, and even saddened by the fact that his son will grow up soon. What Wendy couldn't imagine was that the mother's love for her child was the source of her endless sexual excitement and pleasure. Danny received excessive care from his mother, and libido was excited but was not satisfied and utilized. 

The excessive desire was transformed into anxiety, forming neurological anxiety. He used to admire his father very much, and when he noticed that his father was between himself and his mother, his original identity became hostile. 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 is afraid that his father will castrate his genitals, causing the so-called "castration anxiety". 

On the surface, he imitated his father, hoping to be loved by his mother. When Danny saw the fence trimmed into animal shapes in front of the hotel, he felt the animals move, and the past fear experience was aroused. This strange experience still comes from anxiety about being castrated. Danny also had two dreams related to his father. 

One time he dreamed of his father having a car accident, and then another time he dreamed of his father hurting himself. The content of the dream is the reappearance of his recent life and thoughts and impressions, the deformed reappearance of the materials his mind has obtained from waking life. This memory stimulates the fixation of the meaningless memory field associated with him. Formed his dream. Both dreams are mentioned in the novel in one stroke, and no details are shown, so detailed analysis cannot be carried out. 

But it can still be inferred that the previous dream was the satisfaction of Danny's subconscious desire, that is, he hoped his father would die, because on the one hand, this father was a rival for his mother, and on the other hand he was very fierce to himself. However, this subconscious is suppressed by the consciousness, and the hostile feelings in the subconscious conflict with the conscious desire to love the father and hope for family harmony, forming anxiety and self-blame. 

Danny subconsciously transforms this internal pressure into external pressure 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 to resist these stimuli. What he dreamed of was not his hostility to his father, but that his father was coming to hurt him. 
So the latter kind of dream actually transferred Danny's subconscious self-blame and inner conflict to the other party and found a justification for his own defense. After Jack injured the child, the conflict between father and son sharply intensified. Jack beat Danny because Danny once quietly stayed in his father's room, opened every door and every drawer in the study, and the manuscript was thrown away on the ground, and he was splashed with beer. 

This was 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 conflict, Jack missed and threw Danny to the ground. For Danny, the familiar and prestigious father gradually became strange, terrifying, and unstable. This compounded his anxiety about being castrated. 

The stronger the castration complex, the more severe the superego's control over the self. When the superego blames and abuses the self, depression gradually develops. Although Danny can't get rid of the interference of castration anxiety, in his consciousness he very much hopes that the family will always be 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 are about to divorce, Danny will cry loudly. This is what he worries about most. Before taking over the hotel, Jack had a series of causal records of frustration. He was teaching at Stowieton School, and there was a rich boy in his class, George Hatfield, who participated in the debate team led by Jack. Because George stuttered in a debate, Jack relentlessly expelled George, and was retaliated against by the other side, and then injured the other side, which directly led to his unemployment. 

After being unemployed, Jack lost his source of income, and his amateur literary creations had the potential to exhaust his talents, and he was very anxious. Out of the strong self-esteem inherent in men, Jack has no way to confess his helplessness like anyone else, and it is difficult to vent his depression. He was once addicted to alcohol, but under the pressure of his wife and his inner struggle, he suppressed his desire for alcohol, when he was decadent, he fell into the habit of drinking again, which led to the deterioration of the relationship between husband and wife. 

Jack believes that the root of his alcoholism is an unconscious desire: to get rid of Storeyton and the security that is stifling all his creative impulses. And drunkenness often causes loss of reason and sense. Jack accidentally injured his son and Wendy completely lost his trust in her husband, so that as long as Danny appeared uncomfortable, Jack would be the first target of Wendy's suspicion. Jack was deeply wronged and annoyed by this. 

A series of vicious chain reactions made the family's future shaky. These frustrations caused permanent damage to Jack's self-esteem. This kind of injury accelerates the formation of a sense of inferiority that is common to neurotic patients. 

Jack's ego is faced with threefold pressures: one comes from the outside world, the other comes from the libido of the self (specifically manifested as the urge to drink alcohol), and the third comes from the demanding of the superego. He was originally a grumpy person. After a series of frustrations, he was extremely nervous and was isolated from the world for a long time, and was self-claustrophobic. 

The devil in his heart could easily take advantage of his weakness. Jack often wants to irritate others, and afterward, he will be surprised what his motivation for doing so is. He seemed to want to self-destruct in the subconscious. He finally got the job of looking at the hotel as a caretaker, but he called the manager and threatened to make the hotel’s scandal public. 

"Wendy accused him of wanting to die, but did not have the necessary courage to support a desire to die, so he tried to destroy himself through others, and let others cut off himself or a part of his family again and again." This is a typical compulsion. repeat. 
Through this compulsive repetition, I experience the familiar pain again and again. Compulsive repetition has the characteristics of demons and is so powerful that it can transcend the principle of happiness and endow mental life with a certain degree of tyranny. Compulsive repetition can be traced back to the death drive. People have two instincts, one is the instinct of life, that is, love and constructiveness. 

The true instinct of life is the sexual instinct. However, the self-defense instinct also points to the growth and enhancement of life, so he merges the two into the instinct of life; the second is the instinct of death, that is, hatred and destructive energy. The death instinct is an instinct towards destruction and aggression in everyone. It is an impulse to destroy order and return to the previous state of life. 

This impulse is directed towards ourselves at first. Death instinct derives from all acts of destruction, such as an attack, destruction, and war. The driving force of the attack is to transfer the object of destruction from oneself to others, leading to attacks, hatred, and murder against others. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Jack's life instinct was dissociated from his death instinct, and the death instinct took the upper hand. 

The two previous tragedies gave the Jack family bad psychological hints. The first tragedy: Jack's colleague Stenger suffered a mental breakdown due to the pressure of family and work. He even tried to kill his family and was sent to an insane asylum. This incident left a deep impression on the Jack family and became a shadow in Danny's heart. 

The second tragedy: Grady, the former caretaker of the Lookout Hotel, suffered from claustrophobia and committed suicide after killing his wife and daughter. Jack disagreed when he heard about Grady at first. He thought that his family was all literate people who could amuse themselves by reading in his spare time, instead of being bored and surly like the uncultured Grady. But then he gradually began to imagine this event in his mind. 

These two tragedies are like rehearsals of events that are about to happen to me. In the hallucination of the hotel ballroom, Jack even met Grady himself, and Grady continued to use words to incite him to kill his wife and children. In addition to the psychological implications of these two events, traumatic memories are an important factor that caused Jack's madness. 

Jack has a traumatic memory formed in his childhood: When he was a child, his father would often beat his mother until the injury was hospitalized, and his mother just tolerated it silently. To the young Jack, his father is like a demon. This demon made a comeback when he was mentally fragile, bewitching him to kill his wife and children. 

The father became the promoter of the death instinct, which inspired Jack's destructive, aggressive, and self-destructive tendencies. Jack fought against the devil several times, but eventually failed and re-emerged on his father's old path, even more brutal. When Jack completely loses his mind, his image becomes weird, because at this time he has lost himself and his behavior is also unconscious. 

Freud explained the "traumatic experience" in his "Introduction to Psychoanalysis" as follows: "If an experience provides a powerful stimulus to the mind in a short period of time, the mind can no longer use normal methods. To cope or adapt, and cause the mental energy distribution method to be permanently disturbed, We call this experience "traumatic experience." Traumatic experience forms a nightmare in the heart, which will accelerate the process of disorder when the soul is fragile and cause a tragic ending. 

The first time the novel "The Shining" appeared in the novel was on the tenth Chapter One, Danny’s family came to the lookout hotel and saw the hotel’s chef Halleran. Halleran said directly to Danny the first time he saw Danny, "You have supernatural power. I always call this supernatural power a flash. spirit. You are more shining than anyone I have ever met. 

"People with the "shining" can read the hearts of others, predict what may happen in the future, and even see the past. Both Halleran and Danny have strong "shining", so they can talk without even having to speak. Halleran comforted Danny that the weird phenomenon he saw was just like the illustration in the book, it was not real, so it would not hurt him. If you are really in danger, just use it. Watch him with a strong mind, so that he can feel it quickly even when he is thousands of miles away. 

"The shining" is very similar to what people usually call telepathy. Telepathy implies a premise that the event involves someone and another person (Information recipients) have a strong emotional concern for him." "Telepathy is a primitive and ancient method of communication between individuals, and it is in the evolution of the germline. It has been used to communicate better by receiving signals from the sensory organs." 

The way is replaced. But this older way should still exist and still work under certain conditions. Strange things touch the traces of animistic thought activity remaining in people's hearts so that these traces can be clearly understood. It appeared.” Therefore, the supernatural function of The Shining is also a major factor in the weird 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 a little boy named Tony appeared in front of him from time to time, Jack and Wendy began to notice the child's abnormality—because it was obvious that there was no such person, Danny had serious hallucinations. Jack called in a doctor to treat Danny. Interestingly, the doctor Edmunds used Freud's theory when analyzing the condition: 

"There seems to be a buffer zone between the human consciousness and subconscious, and there lives a deadly Puritan. This one. The prosecutor only allowed a small part of the symbolic consciousness to emerge in the human mind. This is the essence of Freud's theory. However, it can well explain the phenomenon of brain interaction as we know it." "Puritan "/"Prosecutor" refers to self. 

From the doctor’s point of view, Danny’s phantom clone is not a major problem, because many children, including himself when he was a child, have had similar experiences. The playmate doctor, who only he can see, believes that what Danny possesses is "not super-sensory magical powers, but human intuitions that have existed since ancient times. 

It is just that Danny is extremely sensitive." However, he also pointed out that Dan When the family relationship is tense and the imagination is extremely rich, Niu seems to have a tendency to sink deeper and deeper into the minor schizophrenia that children usually have, so it is necessary to help him distinguish between illusion and reality. 

Close family relationships help to get rid of Tony's illusion. The avatar is connected with things and concepts such as the reflection in the mirror, the shadow, the guardian, the belief in the existence of the soul, and the fear of death. It is a projection of people's repressed psychological desires. 

The inner self of the subject should be hidden, but the clone can project this hidden self. The clone's original purpose was to ensure that the self was not harmed, and it was strong resistance to the god of death...the clone was invented to prevent self-death. However, the clone of self-protection will become a threat to one's life after it develops to a certain extent. 

Because there can only be oneself, the existence of the other will undoubtedly have a shaking effect on the previous self. After the original narcissistic complex disappears, the "clone" acquires a new function and performs self-examination, which is the so-called "conscience." "The'clone' not only includes things that are incompatible with self-criticism, but also all those impulsive behaviors that we still fantasize about but have not yet achieved self-seeking destroyed by harsh external conditions, and the illusion that nourishes free will but is suppressed. 

Tony is an avatar that Danny imagined after a family moved to a new environment. This image has multiple functions. First of all, Tony is a product of his sense of self-protection. In Danny’s imagination, Tony is eleven years old, can drive a car, and looks like a complex between himself and his father. 

This is obviously Danny’s expectation of himself, hoping to have a stronger self to protect himself from hurt. After moving, the new environment was both new and unfamiliar to Danny, frightening him. What's more, the family relationship had become tense at the time. 

In this case, Danny imagined this clone to help him overcome loneliness and anxiety. In addition, Tony is a projection of Danny's desire for knowledge. At first, Danny was very happy every time he saw Tony because Tony often gave him some interesting things and sometimes asked him to read signs. 

At that time, the Jacks happened to be teaching Danny to read, so this can be regarded as Danny's subconscious desire to grow up and master knowledge, and Tony is the projected object of this curiosity. Later, Danny discovered that this clone had a wonderful premonition effect. 

For example, once again Danny saw Tony telling himself that there was a box under the stairs. The box contained a script written by Jack. Ke looked around for the box but couldn't find it, thinking it was lost. At this moment Danny said that the box was under the stairs, and Jack really found the box there. Strangely, the basement under the stairs was always locked before Jack entered. 

Similar pre-examinations have happened many times, and the frequent fulfillments seem very strange. Later, Tony began to guide Danny to many weird phenomena, such as the mysterious word REDRUM (at the end of the story, Danny finally found out that this word is the reverse of Murder, that is, "murder"), and blood, twisted Shadow. 

At this time, Tony is no longer a protector and a partner who leads the search for knowledge, but more and more like a devil, like a nightmare in Danny's heart. Tony also showed Danny a short-handled bat very early on. It turns out that this bat was the murder weapon used by Jack, who was later possessed by the devil, to kill Danny. 

These images formed a serious obsessive repetition 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 has an overall upward and mature trend, while Jack has a downward and destructive trend. 

Danny realized from the confused self-revealed from the clone that he bravely abandoned the illusion, but Jack was devoured by the dark side of his heart and turned into a demon. At the end of the story, Jack has become completely unrecognizable. 

The author directly refers to him as a "monster". Danny discovers that "the monster is not his father. Jack has lost himself because he can't distinguish his thoughts from his actions, and he is possessed by the devil.", Swallow. And at this moment Danny can distinguish between illusion and reality. He breaks away from the so-called animism, and Tony's illusion is left behind. 

It is most easy to feel when one is not sure whether animism is true or credible. Strange, once you no longer believe in animism, fear ceases to exist. Danny denounced the devil as putting on his father’s mask and escaping from the claws, while the devil died with the burning lookout hotel. In the end, Danny realized himself. The desire is hidden in the heart: to grow up quickly and eliminate the castration complex. 

The weirdness of "The Shining" is reflected in the recurrence of suppressed events and the abnormal behavior caused by 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 the individual's inner emotional conflict and emotional impulse, it will affect the individual's correct observation and judgment ability, easily cause contradictions and conflicts in interpersonal relationships, and lack constructiveness for the individual Function, it is also vulnerable to attacks from internal dangers. 

Project libido danger outwards, It can never be completely successful. For this reason, other defense systems are used to resist the anxiety that may arise. The danger of the devil to people is not directly harming people, but indirectly controlling their actions by letting people see and occupy people's thoughts. In the final analysis, first, wipe out the "ghost" in your heart and expel it from reality. Ghosts naturally have nowhere to stay.

Study notes 

--kill him. You have to kill him, Jacky, and her, too. Because a real artist myst suffer. Because each man kills the thing he loves. Because they'll always be conspiring against you, trying to hold you back and drag you down. Right this minute that boy of yours is in where he shouldn't be. Trespassing. That's what he's doing. He's a goddam little pup. Cane him for it, Jacky, cane him within an inch of his life. Have a drink, Jacky my boy, and we'll play the elevator game. Then I'll go with you while you give him his medicine. I know you can do it, of course, you can. You must kill him. You have to kill him, Jacky, and her, too. Because a real artist myst suffer. Because each man--Quoted on page 335

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