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The Shining | Part 2, Chapter 9 : Closing Day, Checking It Out | Summary



Stuart Ullman greets the Torrances and is impressed with Danny's good manners. It's Closing Day at the Overlook, so guests and staff are leaving. Mrs. Brant, an older woman wearing a fur coat, insists on paying her bill with American Express, even though the hotel no longer accepts American Express. Ullman tells the clerk, "I'll take care of it." He approaches the agitated woman and defuses the situation immediately. Danny recognizes Ullman is "just pretending to like her." Jack and Wendy explain flattery to their son.

Danny is happy his parents are "loving each other", but he remains on guard for REDRUM. He reminds himself not all of Tony's visions come true, but Danny doesn't like the altitude and feels little enthusiasm for the roque court and topiary animals outside. He is confused when he overhears Mrs. Brant thinking about getting into the valet's pants. He doesn't understand why she can't get her own pants.


Mrs. Brant's tantrum illustrates the level of entitlement typical of the Overlook's guests. She is obviously wealthy, with her fur coat and feather boa, probably able to pay by means other than American Express. Still, she insists on using a card the hotel no longer accepts because it's what she has always done. Her willingness to make a scene illustrates her self-centeredness and lack of regard for the people who have served her at the hotel. Mr. Ullman's appeasement of Mrs. Brant illustrates his willingness to suck up to the wealthy and powerful, as well as his aptitude for doing so. Mr. Ullman enables Mrs. Brant's bad behavior. Everything about the Overlook seems constructed to enable behavior like Mrs. Brant's.

Danny's observation of Mrs. Brant's interest in the valet's pants provides another glimpse of his innocence, even as he tries to cope with the heavy implications of his visions. It's also a moment of humor for the reader who understands Mrs. Brant's interest in the valet is sexual not sartorial. Danny has no such context, so the exchange goes over his head, leaving him confused.

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