Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 45 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 45 : Matters of Life and Death, Stapleton Airport, Denver | Summary



Dick's flight lands in Denver at 8:31 a.m., coming down roughly through the snowstorm. The woman next to Dick dismisses the rough landing as insignificant compared to the horrors of war and the evils of the CIA. She invites Dick to have a drink with her in the airport lounge, but Dick has a pressing appointment. "Something that will improve the general situation in some small way, I hope," she says. Dick hopes so, too.

Dick rents a large Buick, counting on its weight to work to his advantage in the storm. He gets snow chains put on at a local service station and begins inching his way along the turnpike toward Estes Park and Sidewinder.


Dick's politically minded seatmate's wish that his appointment will "improve the general situation" expresses a hope that Dick is a force for the good, which he is. Dick notices she has a little shine, but she probably doesn't pick up on the full magnitude of what he is trying to do. In fact, Dick's errand does have potential to "improve the general situation," or at least prevent the general situation from getting worse. Danny's power is extraordinarily strong among people who shine. He can send a strong message over thousands of miles and physically interact with spirits. This power has done Danny no favors, but if the Overlook absorbs such a strong power, that could fundamentally change its capabilities. By saving Danny, Dick is preventing a strong force for evil from becoming even stronger, which must be good for the "general situation."

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