Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 4 Chapter 27 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 4, Chapter 27 : Snowbound, Catatonic | Summary

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Summary

Wendy finds Jack in the hotel office surrounded by bits of the CB radio. He explains about the nightmare. He fell asleep in the basement and must have sleepwalked to the office. Wendy asks where Danny is, and Jack doesn't know. He reads her facial expression as accusatory and thinks she believes he might have hurt Danny again. They argue. She walks out, and he follows her to apologize. He asks if she fell asleep, and she says she did. When she says she didn't check his room before coming downstairs, Jack says, "I didn't really think so."

They head upstairs and find Danny on the first-floor landing, sucking his thumb. Wendy hugs him, but he doesn't respond. She sees the marks on Danny's neck and says to Jack, "Don't you touch him! I'll kill you if you lay your hands on him again!" She carries Danny and runs down the stairs to their quarters. Jack stays on the landing, remembering the broken arm, George Hatfield, and the dream, wondering if he might have hurt Danny without knowing it.

Wendy cradles Danny in their quarters. She feels certain Jack has done this and wonders how she might get herself and Danny away from him in the snow. She thinks Danny needs a doctor, and she decides her only choice is to enlist Jack's help to get him to Sidewinder. She is chilled by the sound of his singing downstairs, but she descends the stairs anyway.

Analysis

Jack and Wendy's sniping at one another when Danny is missing, and when they find him, reveals the deep fracture in their marriage. That fracture is the one Jack left in Danny's arm years before. The arm has healed, but the marriage hasn't, despite all appearances. Jack responds with sarcasm when Wendy says she hasn't checked Danny's room. Wendy denies Jack's accusation that she blames him for Danny being missing, but her true feelings about Jack's responsibility surface when Danny shows up with bruises on his neck. Considering she thinks there are only three of them in the hotel, and she knows she didn't strangle Danny, her conclusion isn't crazy, but her use of the word "again" means she has immediately connected with incident with the broken arm.

Because there are only three of them in the hotel, and Jack remains shaken by his recent nightmare, he questions whether Wendy could be right about him. He doesn't tell her this, but he knows his memory and state of consciousness are unreliable. Creating this uncertainty but sending the nightmare while Danny is attacked allows the Overlook to exert control over Jack and sets him up for further manipulation.

The singing at the end of the chapter comes from Jack, and the song choice, "Roll Me Over in the Clover," seems inappropriately cheerful under the circumstances. Wendy fears talking to Jack because the song sounds as if he has been drinking.

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