Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 56 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 56 : Matters of Life and Death, The Explosion | Summary



Danny finds his mother and Dick on the first floor and tells them they must get out. Dick already has visions of the Overlook in flames. Danny goes to their quarters and brings coats and boots for himself and Wendy. Hallorann sees the ballroom clock reads one minute to midnight and realizes they only have a minute to escape the building.

In the basement, the creature that was Jack reaches the boiler just as it explodes. At the same moment, Dick carries Wendy and Danny through the front doors. The blast propels them into a soft snowbank. Dick watches the hotel burn.


Danny, Wendy, and Dick have only a few minutes to escape before the boiler blows. Danny shows remarkable preparation under pressure when he thinks to get coats and boots for himself and his mother.

The Overlook Hotel explodes at midnight, referenced repeatedly as the time of unmasking. When the boiler explodes all the masks come off. The artifice of the hotel building masking the unspeakable evil within goes up in flames. Dick finds the spectacle particularly satisfying, the evidence of his job well done.

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