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The Shining | Part 4, Chapter 30 : Snowbound, 217 Revisited | Summary

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Summary

When Jack goes to Room 217, he sees no evidence to support Danny's story. He feels irritated with Danny for taking the passkey and going into a guest room. For reasons Jack can't explain, he remembers Wilson's story about the suicidal lawyer's wife and feels certain this is the room Mrs. Massey shared with her young lover.

Inside the bathroom, the tub and bathmat are dry. Jack feels irritation again, then wonders why there's a bathmat on the floor. It should be in storage with the other linens. He assumes a chambermaid simply left it behind, but then he smells soap as he moves toward the main doorway. Before he gets to the door, he hears the shower curtain rings moving in the bathroom. He turns to see the dead woman's outline behind the shower curtain. He debates going back to the bathroom and drawing back the curtain, but instead turns and opens the door to the hall. He hears footsteps inside the room as he fumbles to lock the door behind him. He feels he is being watched and hurries back downstairs to the kitchen.

Analysis

The dry bathtub and bathmat, followed by the appearance of the dead woman as Jack is trying to leave Room 217 are more examples of the Overlook toying with Jack. It seems to enjoy teasing, scaring, and manipulating the Torrances. The connection with Mrs. Massey's suicide also implies that the people who die in the Overlook stay in the Overlook, to be used by the hotel for its own purposes.

Jack is desperate to find nothing in Room 217. He is relieved the tub is dry. He questions the bathmat but, since it's dry, he finds an easy logical explanation for its presence. He dismisses the smell of soap as a figment of his imagination. When he sees the outline of the corpse behind the shower curtain, he knows Danny is right, but he retreats. His unwillingness to face the creature behind the curtain reveals fundamental cowardice on Jack's part, a cowardice Danny doesn't have. Danny's curiosity leads him into the room, but he faces the body in the tub, with no curtain between them. Danny becomes frightened and runs when the body moves, but Jack runs from a shadow.

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