Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 4 Chapter 29 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 4, Chapter 29 : Snowbound, Kitchen Talk | Summary

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Summary

Jack carries Danny to the kitchen and gives him tea. Wendy protests she doesn't know what Danny is talking about. Jack knows Wendy would never hurt Danny, but he enjoys the sudden reversal of their positions and suspicions.

After Danny drinks his tea, he is still afraid to tell his parents the whole story because he knows Jack needs the job. He says he knows "Uncle Al" was angry when he called Jack after Jack called Ullman. Danny and Wendy tell Jack about their conversation in the truck and their worries about him. Wendy says Jack has resumed all his old drinking habits except the drinking and sometimes he talks in his sleep. Jack and Wendy acknowledge Danny knows things.

Danny tells his parents about the dead woman in Room 217 who tried to strangle him. He says he has known the Overlook is bad since they were in Boulder. He tells them about his conversation with Dick Hallorann and the blood in the Presidential Suite. Jack is shocked because he knows that blood belongs to the gangsters who were killed there. Jack is startled when Danny says Dick told him to be careful of the playground and the topiary animals. Danny grows more agitated as he relives the incident in Room 217. She grabbed him and he could "smell how dead she was." Then Danny passed out. When he awoke, he could hear his parents fighting. He is embarrassed that he wet his pants, "like a baby." Jack goes to Room 217 to investigate. Danny thinks Jack will be safe because he doesn't shine, but Wendy isn't so sure.

Analysis

The Torrance family meeting in the Overlook kitchen after Danny's trauma in Room 217 is the healthiest, most open communication Jack, Wendy, and Danny ever have with one another. Jack takes perverse pleasure in being able to blame Wendy for Danny's condition, even though he knows it isn't true. Wendy acknowledges the broken arm has been hard to get over, and she still isn't there yet, but she's trying. Danny tells them everything he knows about Jack's job situation. Wendy and Danny acknowledge their conversation in the truck, apart from Jack, but they also affirm their love for him. Wendy reveals behavior she has observed that Jack hasn't observed in himself. Everyone acknowledges Danny's powers. It's a clearing of the air that generates real hope that the tiny family will somehow overcome the big hotel and make things better for themselves.

Danny is embarrassed to have had a child's response to being strangled by a decaying corpse, but most adults would probably have a similar reaction in the same situation. Danny demonstrates the extent of his maturity by recounting everything he has seen in the hotel, revealing all the fears he has kept from his parents for months. Facing and overcoming his fear of telling them the truth prepares him to overcome other fears later, but it also represents another step away from childhood the Overlook has forced Danny to take. He shouldn't have to think about or talk about bloodstains and decaying corpses at age five, but he does.

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