The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 2, Chapter 10 : Closing Day, Hallorann | Summary

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Summary

Wendy envisions the Overlook cook as a small, rotund, French-accented man and is surprised to meet Dick Hallorann, a tall, black man with a southern accent. Dick jokes with Danny, saying "You ain't gonna stay up here all winter." He invites Danny to join him in Florida and greets Jack and Wendy warmly.

Dick takes the family on a tour of the kitchens, which are large and intimidating but "still only a kitchen." His only request is they keep the kitchen clean. He provides an inventory of the pantries, walk-in freezer, and refrigerators. The tour reminds Wendy how isolated they will be when the snows come.

Dick calls Danny by his nickname, Doc, which leads Jack to question how Dick knows what his parents call him. Dick covers the faux pas, but sends Danny a telepathic message inviting him to Florida again. The silent communication startles Danny. Dick also offers a few new bits of Overlook history. Hotel founder Robert Townley Watson died when he accidentally stuck his finger in an electrical socket before the hotel closed for 10 years during the Great Depression.

Leaving the kitchens, the group passes the Colorado Lounge, and Dick points out the staff picked the bar clean of alcohol for their party the night before. Jack tersely says he doesn't drink. When they reach the front doors, Wendy feels uneasy seeing the empty parking lot. Dick invites Danny to help him take his bags to the car, and Wendy gives permission.

Analysis

Dick's shine allows him to perceive Danny's anxiety about being in the Overlook Hotel, but he doesn't yet know the full extent of Danny's fears or his powers. Dick's shine appears to be stronger than he thinks. He says Danny won't stay in the hotel all winter as a light joke, but this turns out to be true. In Part 5, Chapters 57 and 58, Dick comes to the hotel to help Danny get out of there. The timeline skips forward from the rescue to the following summer in Maine, but it's reasonable to think Danny and Wendy may spend part of the winter in Florida with Dick, just as he invites Danny (repeatedly) to do. Another of Dick's jokes comes true.

Dick's warm and unpretentious nature is on full display during the kitchen tour. He reassures Wendy about her ability to navigate the kitchen, telling her she will never need to use much of the equipment and pointing out the equipment most easily accessible for her. His inventory of the food supply also reads as designed to inspire enthusiasm for the adventure to come.

Dick says the hotel founder "accidentally" dies of electrocution, but the circumstances provide evidence Robert Townley Watson may have been another victim of the Overlook's more violent legacy. The hotel is never profitable for Watson and teeters on the verge of closure before the Great Depression. Although electrical outlets are relatively new technology in the 1920s, it's hard to believe a grown man would put his finger into one purely by accident. The story implies details held back.

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