Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 4 Chapter 35 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 4, Chapter 35 : Snowbound, The Lobby | Summary

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Summary

Danny tells his parents about the topiary animals but not the concrete ring. Jack makes Danny go to the window and look at the animals, covered in snow. He claims he is trying to help Danny understand the difference between reality and hallucination. Danny stands by his story and says to Jack, "You know I'm telling the truth ... You know because you saw—" Jack slaps Danny before he can finish. Jack tries to apologize, leading him and Wendy to pull at Danny until Danny tells them to stop.

Wendy puts Danny to bed with a baby aspirin. Jack apologizes for hitting Danny, and Wendy apologizes for calling Jack a bastard. He tells her "I always thought I could keep my promises." She assures him a ranger will come by eventually. He wishes she would ask him about the hedges so he could tell her the truth. He wonders how much he might confess.

Analysis

Jack's reaction to Danny's near miss with the hedge animals revives all the old tensions between the three Torrances. Wendy thinks Jack is too hard on Danny when he insists Danny must recognize the episode as a hallucination. Danny's interrupted confrontation comes too close to exposing Jack's mixed motives. When Jack slaps Danny, Wendy shifts in to protective mode. Jack shifts to apology right away, involving Danny in an emotional and literal tug-of-war.

When Jack tells Wendy about his wish to keep his promises, he refers to his promise never to hurt Danny again and his promise to help her get Danny to a doctor. The first he breaks because of his lack of self-control. The second he breaks deliberately, which makes this apologetic statement ring hollow. Jack's passivity also causes him to miss yet another opportunity to right his course. He could confess about the hedges and the other events he has denied. He could even confess about the snowmobile. Such confessions might help him and Wendy form a plan to get help before it's too late for all of them. Instead he mentally places the onus for this hypothetical conversation on Wendy. If she doesn't ask, he doesn't have to offer, and he can blame her for not asking the necessary questions.

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