Written by Scotty
What would a trip to the Stanley Hotel be without watching The Shining a couple times? Since Stephen King got the premise for the classic novel here, it would be a shame not to take note and maybe get some ideas about where his story came from. These days however, The Stanley is a year round hotel, and back in the 70’s when King stayed here, it was shut down in November before the snow moved in and the roads became impassable.
Is that what sparked the idea behind The Shining? I could see it being a factor to the outline. Being trapped in a secluded area for a long time with no chance of making it back to civilization, seems scary enough. But that does not have anything to do with how the characters react to the hotel, much less being trapped. Let’s take my favorite character, Jack Torrance for instance.
Jack is a recovering alcoholic. Ok, that is an easy one since Stephen King was as well. Hurting his son because his kid was being well, a kid. I know that mistakes happen and this is one that parents fear all of the time, whether they are drinking or not. Jack is trying to get away from his normal life problems and focus on his passion, writing. Sounds like writers all over the place. With how basic Jack Torrance seems to be, he is hiding so much more. He is a family man that will do anything and everything to make sure that his family is safe. With hurting his son Danny years ago by mistake, he is now under the watchful eyes of his wife and it is starting to get under his skin.
Although Jack is not willing to admit this, it is still in the back of his mind whenever he does anything with his son. Wanting to make sure that Danny does not encounter the troubles that he has in the past, Jack will do everything in his power to protect his son. Not wanting to give a second thought to his son’s invisible friend, Jack wants Danny to grow into the man he was supposed to be, and nothing less.
Now I did say that Jack is a devoted family man, but have not talked about his relationship with Wendy. In the story it is a little bit rough. Wendy will not let the fact that her husband injured their son in a fit of rage and will not let him forget it. Trying to get away from the city and all of the pressures that it has put on him in the past, Jack feels that the move to The Overlook is the best way to keep them all together. With the massive landscape that property provides, Jack knows that no one will get in each other’s way for the duration of the winter and that will provide for a much more loving surrounding…in his eyes.
What about Jack Torrance himself? We have covered the fundamentals of his past, now let’s focus on his present. Why does Jack find this hotel intriguing enough to take the job? It is the job, along with the seclusion that he wants the most. Having to do basic maintenance around the property, with having the release the boiler once a day, it is the perfect opportunity to get back to his writing. That is all Jack really wants to do, he wants time to focus on his writing once again and come up with something great. The hotel gives him plenty of inspiration, as he is shown a book housing the great history that went along with the prestigious location. But when he is able to get in the groove of things, he gets interrupted by his family, and although he loves them with all of his heart, he came to work. Family time has to come second as the hotel and his ideas have to come first.
What finally made Jack snap would be the question that nobody has an absolute answer to. Was it the job, the responsibility that was put in front of him? Was there something special in the hotel that showed him that there was something better for him? Or was it the self-seclusion that he put on himself that made him go mad?
Since I have combined the novel, the movie and the TV series in this review, it is very difficult to come to a hard conclusion. I always lean back to wanting to blame The Overlook for messing with his mind, but not having the gift of the shining, it is hard to back it up. Even though he was hearing his father telling him what to do, could that have been the hotel, or his own mind playing with him. For the sake of coming to a conclusion, I will blame his mental state and let me tell you why. I think Jack is under too much pressure and even though he took a job that would take the strain off of him, he is a little bit like me when it comes to working at any job. Working as hard as possible to make sure the job gets done at a top rate. That is how I work and I will tell you straight up, it puts a ton of stress on you. But when you are done, you feel great about yourself and do not have to look back wondering if you could have done better.
Just my opinion and it is always subject to change. Hope everyone gets a chance to watch and read all of the different editions of The Shining, since it is a masterpiece. Along with getting a chance to come up to The Stanley Hotel and see where the idea stemmed from. Until next time…Stay Scared!