The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 52 : Matters of Life and Death, Wendy and Jack | Summary

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Summary

Jack struggles up the stairs behind Wendy and follows her to their quarters, swinging the mallet the whole way. Danny isn't there. Jack destroys most of the living room and bedroom furniture while Wendy flees into the bathroom and locks the door.

Jack beats at the bathroom door with the mallet and knocks a hole in the door. When he puts his hand through to unlock the door, she cuts him with a razor blade. He jerks back, then the room goes quiet. She hears Jack moving away from the door, then she hears a machine buzzing outside. Jack goes to investigate, leaving Wendy to survey the damaged quarters and go find Danny.

Analysis

Jack's determination to kill Wendy seems superhuman because it is, but Wendy's determination to survive is equally extraordinary. Husband and wife have sustained heavy physical damage, but they persist. Left with few options, Wendy resorts to the only weapon available to her, and she saves herself by inflicting otherwise minimal wounds. Dick Hallorann's arrival happens in the nick of time, though, because Wendy would not have held out much longer against Jack's onslaught. Dick has enjoyed relative good fortune through his journey from Florida to the Overlook, but this is the first lucky break Wendy has gotten since the Overlook siege began in the morning. It is unfortunate Jack will only leave her alone to go after another victim, but Dick isn't carrying the same injuries Wendy is and has a chance of fighting back when Jack finds him.

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