Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 53 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 53 : Matters of Life and Death, Hallorann Laid Low | Summary

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Summary

Hallorann defeats the hedge lion by using the extra fuel Larry Durkin sent with him to set it on fire. He rides the snowmobile to the hotel. Jack, hearing the motor, leaves Wendy to meet the "dirty, interfering nigger" and show the Overlook he is "managerial timber."

Dick calls for Danny as he enters the front doors. He runs up the stairs toward the family's quarters, hoping he isn't too late. Jack emerges from his hiding place in the elevator and shatters Dick's face with the roque mallet, leaving him on the carpet. Jack takes the elevator to the third floor, looking for Danny.

Analysis

Dick's strategy to kill the hedge lion reveals incredible resourcefulness and courage. He uses the gasoline to set his arm on fire and then sticks his arm into the lion's foliage. Howard Cottrell's mitten is collateral damage, as is the arm of Larry Durkin's coat. Lucky for Dick, very little fire is necessary to set the lion ablaze, and Dick can extinguish the flame on his arm before the fire does more than char the coat.

Unfortunately Dick doesn't employ the same cunning when he enters the Overlook lobby. He is desperate to find Danny, so he announces his presence and location by calling for him. He doesn't even find a weapon before entering the battle, making him an easy target for Jack.

Jack's use of the racial epithet to describe Dick provides more evidence of the Overlook's complete hold over him. The pre-Overlook Jack greets Dick warmly on the hotel's closing day. For all Jack's faults, he never exhibited any form of racism. But now the hotel's evil has consumed Jack.

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