Literature Study GuidesThe ShiningPart 5 Chapter 58 Summary

The Shining | Study Guide

Stephen King

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The Shining | Part 5, Chapter 58 : Matters of Life and Death, Epilogue, Summer | Summary

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Summary

The following summer Dick works at the Red Arrow Lodge in northern Maine, near Rangeley. Dick likes the job. After his shift he goes to the cabins by the lake and greets Wendy, who is reading on her porch. She is recovering from her injuries and says Danny is having fewer nightmares. Al Shockley has offered her a job in Maryland after Labor Day; she accepts it so she can save Jack's insurance money for Danny's college tuition.

Dick goes to see Danny, who is fishing off the dock at the lake. Danny blames himself and his shine for what happened at the Overlook, and he misses his dad. Dick comforts Danny and promises they'll always be friends. Danny catches a fish, and Wendy joins them on the dock as he reels it in.

Analysis

Wendy and Danny return to their native New England to recover from their emotional and—in Wendy's case—physical injuries from their time at the Overlook. Life is simple for them now, and they're planning for a better future. Readers don't learn the details of Al Shockley's job offer, but Wendy's willingness to accept his help comes as a surprise, considering how Shockley's last job offer turned out.

Dick is an essential support system for Danny, who needs a father figure as well as a friend who understands his shine. Danny's self-blame is misplaced. Many factors contributed to the events at the Overlook, most notably his parents' indecision about leaving before it was too late. Danny's tendency to blame himself stands in stark contrast to his father's propensity for deflecting responsibility for problems of his own making. By taking the blame on himself, Danny allows Jack to posthumously deflect responsibility one last time.

The novel ends on a happy note, with the small surrogate family comfortable on a dock in the Maine mountains, far from the site of the Overlook. When Danny gets a bite on his fishing line, it reads as an omen of a better life to come.

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