Written by Scotty
When staying at The Stanley Hotel, it is hard to not find yourself watching The Shining once or a dozen times. Since this is the hotel where Stephen King got the inspiration for the classic story, why not try to get into his head for a couple of minutes and figure out where his inspiration came from? Ok, you read the Jack Torrance edition, so I do not have to go on with how the thought of seclusion would change a person, so let’s take a look at little Danny.
Danny Torrance is my second favorite character in the story and for what reason? Danny has the gift of the shining. Although his parents don’t seem to understand what or why he has this gift, or even what it is, he is the character that has to grow the most. How did King come up with this idea is what I am trying to get a handle on. Could he, or can he actually see things that happened in the past, along with what things are trying to do to him in the present?
Either way, Danny has the ability to shine, and he also has a friend named Tony that is trying to point him in the direction of safety. Although his parents do not understand what this means for their child, they utilize this friend, along with his ability to figure out things before they actually happen. This is funny in a way, since they have taken him to doctors for several years to try to break him out of this ‘phase’. Danny can walk the walk of a normal child, but deep inside he knows that Tony is real, and like his father, will do anything to try to protect him.
Danny knows that the move to The Overlook is not the best choice for his family, as Tony tells him so, but will not voice his opinion to his parents about it. Tony knows exactly what will happen if they are all stuck in the middle of the mountains with no way out and he also knows the danger that lies within the hotel, but Danny is not ready to hear about this yet in his fragile state. Having his arm broken by his father in a drunken rage, Danny is doing everything in his power to accept that Jack is doing everything he can to change. His father is making an effort to become the man that his dad was not, but some of the old traits come back to haunt him.
Arriving at the hotel, Danny sees the warning signs right away and even though his parents are not too keen on his observations, Danny knows to steer clear of a couple of areas. After talking to Dick Hallorann and seeing that there is someone else with the power he possesses, Danny is slowly put at ease. But the talk with Dick does not keep Danny from fearing the power inside of the hotel, as he has already seen too much. Dick comforts him once again and tells him the tricks of the trade of the shining and even gives the young man permission to call him in time of need. Danny understands this and is ready to weather the storm with his parents, but not having anyone to fall back on, he is in more need than even Tony could know.
As winter sets in and the snow continues to fall, Danny is comfortable with is mother but is slowly noticing a change in their surroundings. While roaming the halls, Danny finds that doors are left open, keys are misplaced and special visitors are waiting to make an introduction. Dick had warned Danny that The Overlook learns and will feed upon his weaknesses if he lets it. Although Danny tries with all of his might, he cannot hide his fears from the old hotel and it finds a way to take control. Having to fight the fact the everything that he sees is not real, the hotel focuses its attack on the boy and will not stop until he has been removed.
Looking between all three stories of The Shining, I have to come to the conclusion that the hotel is what was challenging the character of young Danny Torrance and nothing else. Knowing that his parents were having problems did not affect his abilities or Tony coming to talk to him. Knowing that his parents loved him with all of their hearts, Danny was forced to fall back on the guidance of Tony from time and time again and for good reason, Tony would never lie or point him in the wrong direction. The Overlook housed something like Danny had never witnessed in his life and although Dick Hallorann had worked for several years at the hotel, he did not have the power than young Danny brought with him.
Believing that and staying true to my review of Jack Torrance, here is what I see happened. I see that the hotel came to life and went after young Danny and that stands true for each of the version of the story. I see that the hotel saw his father losing it and took advantage of the situation. I am not saying that it took control of Jack by any means, but I will say it changed some things to make it easier for Jack to go insane by his own accord. Trying to discipline his son was something from his own child hood that was passed down from his father before him and without having any control while on his own in the mountains, he became what he want meant to be, his father.
Danny had a target painted on his chest from the moment he walked into The Overlook and no matter what he did, it would not go away. The hotel houses some kind of power that could not be seen from anyone without the gift of shine. The more power a person has with the shining, the more it gets amplified by the hotel. But if the hotel believes that this person can harm it in any way, it will use the power against the individual and try to destroy them, before it gets destroyed itself. Stay Scared!