Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 54 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 54 : Matters of Life and Death, Tony | Summary

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Summary

Danny dreams of dark hallways, and he hears Tony calling to him. He also hears the pounding mallet in the distance. Tony tells Danny his mother and Dick are going to be badly hurt, maybe killed. Tony tells Danny he will have to help Wendy if she is to survive, and he reveals he is part of Danny. They are deep in Danny's mind where the Overlook can't reach.

Without Tony telling him, Danny knows the hotel is using Jack, hiding behind him, but the creature wreaking havoc out there "is not his daddy." Danny sees Tony up close and sees himself as if in a mirror, but a few years older. Tony tells Danny to hide and says, "You will remember what your father forgot." Tony disappears, and Danny flees Jack's shouts and swinging mallet.

Near the Presidential Suite, Danny encounters two dead bodies. He thinks, "!!FALSE FACES!! NOT REAL!!" The bodies disappear. He says the same thing when he encounters a decaying woman who invites him to tango. The woman recoils. Danny notices the hotel is quiet except the sound of the elevator whirring, and he knows who, or what, is inside there. He flees to hide in the attic and finds it padlocked shut. Danny waits for the creature coming for him in the hallway.

Analysis

Tony returns to Danny while Jack and Wendy battle in the lobby. In this last conversation, Danny learns Tony is not an external visitor, exactly, but Danny himself, a few years older. Tony takes his name from Danny's middle name, Anthony. They both share this name with Jack's father, Mark Anthony Torrance, which shows the difficulty of escaping the past completely. Mark's legacy is abuse and alcoholism, but it's also resourcefulness and humor. Danny and Tony serve as proof the past can't be escaped, but it also doesn't have to rule your whole life.

As Danny flees to the third floor, he discovers how the obstacles the Overlook sets before him can be defeated. The bodies disappear and the ghouls shrink away in the face of genuine courage. Danny's strategy seems easy, but for a five-year-old to stay so strong in the face of these creatures, especially after all the torment he has endured in the hotel, is not an easy feat. Discovering Tony, who has always seemed so much braver to Danny, is also Danny has given Danny an essential infusion of confidence. Danny backs up his words with the power of his shine, which makes them effective. He has learned the way to beat the Overlook is to use the power it so craves against it.

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