Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 48 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 48 : Matters of Life and Death, Jack | Summary



Jack sits in the pantry, eating crackers and nursing resentment toward Wendy. He considers what drove his father to drink and decides it was his mother, just as Jack thinks Wendy has driven him to drink. He blames Wendy for wrecking his teaching career and decides she is now trying to ruin his chance to rise to management level at the Overlook. She is keeping Danny from him, and Danny is a condition of his new position. Jack thinks the manager is foolish for wanting the son when they already have the father, but he decides to humor the manager.

Grady comes to the pantry door and scolds Jack for letting Wendy get the better of him. Jack assures Grady he is prepared for his assigned task. He assures Grady he will carry through if Grady will release him. Outside the pantry, he finds a martini and a roque mallet.


Under the influence of the Overlook and the martinis, Jack's thinking becomes disjointed and irrational. In Part 4, Chapter 26, Jack remembers his mother with sympathy and love. He recalls how his feelings toward his father shifted away from love after he sees Mark Torrance beat his wife with a cane during Sunday dinner, for no apparent reason. In the pantry Jack turns on his mother's memory, also for no apparent reason other than being a woman.

While Jack's frustration with Wendy's seemingly endless questions and worries has been building for a long time, the crimes he hangs on her in the pantry follow no logical progression. He blames Wendy for driving him to drink and blames her for ruining his teaching career. At the time Jack loses his teaching job, he isn't drinking, so it doesn't make sense for Wendy to be responsible for the drinking and the job loss. Jack loses his job for assaulting a student. Wendy isn't even on the periphery of those events.

In the negotiations with Grady, the Overlook seems to be setting up Jack and Danny as rivals. Jack thinks of himself as the Overlook's prize and Danny as the bonus. Even though the Overlook has made its desire for Danny clear, Jack believes he is simply humoring the manager's whim by giving the Overlook himself and Danny as a package deal.

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