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The Shining | Quotes


Officious little prick.

Jack Torrance, Part 1, Chapter 1

The first line of The Shining reveals Jack's thoughts about Stuart Ullman during Jack's job interview. His assessment is correct, and he's far from the only one to note Ullman's tendency to lord it over others. More telling are Jack's overt hostility toward a man he has just met and his knee-jerk resistance to authority. Ullman isn't a good guy, but he's still Jack's potential boss. Jack's attitude reveals his rage and desire for the upper hand—personality traits that have been his undoing in the past and will prove his undoing in the future.


Any big hotels have got scandals .... Why? Hell, people come and go.

Watson, Part 1, Chapter 3

Watson comments about the transient nature of hotel guests while he gives Jack a tour of the facilities, providing the first honest look at life in the Overlook. Stuart Ullman is eager to keep the hotel's scandals quiet, but Watson knows scandals are inevitable in hotel management. At the same time Watson's remark minimizes the extent of the Overlook's sordid history and the danger it poses to its guests and staff.


But you shine the hardest.

Dick Hallorann, Part 2, Chapter 11

When Danny asks Dick Hallorann whether he has met others with special powers, Dick says he has, but none of them has had as much shine as Danny. Dick not only gives Danny some much-needed understanding of his powers, but he also makes Danny feel less alone. Shining is an unusual state, but it isn't freakish, and Dick copes with it well. When Dick says Danny shines the hardest, he is setting Danny apart, but not in an isolating way. This observation also foreshadows the Overlook's recognition of and attempt to exploit Danny's unusually strong power.


I don't think there's anything here that can hurt you. So just be cool, okay?

Dick Hallorann, Part 2, Chapter 11

Dick speaks frankly with Danny about their visions about the Overlook. Dick likens these visions to images or residue of events long past, with no bearing on the present or power to do harm. Dick is fairly confident in this assessment. But he underestimates the Overlook. Even with his shine, Dick can't know the hotel is more than a place; it's an independent entity. Nor can Dick know how the Overlook will respond to Danny's power.


This inhuman place makes human monsters.

Tony, Part 3, Chapter 17

Tony provides a poetic assessment of the Overlook's power to exploit ordinary humans' weaknesses. Tony predicts this will happen to Danny's father. The hotel, an "inhuman place," is animated by the supernatural powers within its walls. A symbiotic relationship develops between the hotel and the spirits inhabiting the place as they turn former and current guests into monsters.


Maybe that was why he ... called Ullman. To be fired while there was still time.

Narrator, Part 3, Chapter 20

After Jack gives an empty hornet's nest to Danny, it comes alive with stinging hornets in the night, injuring Danny. Jack vents his anger and frustration at his son's injury in a phone call to Stuart Ullman. The hornet incident is Jack's responsibility, but Jack provokes Ullman because he senses the hotel is ultimately responsible—crazy though such a notion seems at this early point in the novel. Jack intuits his family is in danger—evidence of his own shining, whether suppressed or ignored. Jack can't quit the job because it's his last financial lifeline, so he provokes Ullman in hopes the decision to leave will be taken out of his hands.


I never touched him. I never have since the night I broke his arm.

Jack Torrance, Part 4, Chapter 28

After the specter in Room 217 assaults Danny, Wendy blames Jack for Danny's injuries, and Jack protests his innocence. Wendy's suspicions show she hasn't forgiven Jack for breaking Danny's arm, even though Jack's behavior has improved since then. Jack feels his efforts have been for naught; he dwells on the idea that he can't earn back Wendy's trust, which indicates he has yet to forgive himself for hurting Danny.


Don't worry, Mommy ... He doesn't shine. Nothing here can hurt him.

Danny Torrance, Part 4, Chapter 29

When Jack goes to investigate Room 217, Danny tells Wendy the Overlook can't hurt Jack because Jack doesn't have power. Danny's phrasing reveals he knows his own shine puts him in danger—a lesson he learns when the woman in 217 attacks him. Wendy doesn't accept Danny's assurances, responding, "No, I don't believe that." She believes the hotel can hurt all of them; she also believes Jack can hurt them or himself. It also implies the possibility that Jack does shine, at least a little.

After Danny is attacked in Room 217, Wendy tells Jack to get the snowmobile running so they can take Danny away from the Overlook. As a loving father, Jack wants to do what is best for his son, and he realizes the Overlook may pose a danger to his family. Yet the danger is less concrete than the family's risk of poverty and homelessness if they flee the hotel. Jack may be able to find a job in Sidewinder or elsewhere, but it won't pay much, and with his bad work record any career prospects will vanish. Because of this Jack will make the wrong choice and keep the family at the Overlook.


It wants me the most, but it will take all of us.

Danny Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 39

Danny tells Wendy why Jack's state of mind is deteriorating; the Overlook is exerting more and more control over Jack in its attempts to get to Danny. Danny's power is immense; by taking him the Overlook can increase its power. It will also absorb Wendy's motherly intuition; as Dick Hallorann observes, all mothers have a little shine. Danny's observation confirms Jack has shining power, too, though it's not as strong as Danny's. Even if Jack and Wendy had no shine, the hotel would do any collateral damage necessary to get to Danny.


You want us to leave because you know that'll be the end of me.

Jack Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 46

As the Overlook exerts greater control over Jack, it magnifies his darkest suspicions about Wendy, most of which reflect Jack's disappointment in himself. Jack and Wendy's marriage was never perfect, and he harbored resentful thoughts long before they arrived at the Overlook. But now these thoughts have come to the fore. Wendy has no reason to want Jack to fail in his work life—after all, he is her means of financial support—but the Overlook has twisted Jack's perception of reality, and Jack's insecurity and fear of failure have made that easy to do.


I think there's still a chance ... if we're strong and brave.

Wendy Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 46

When Jack lets go of reality and attacks Wendy and Danny, Wendy exhibits strength and resourcefulness. Until help arrives she decides to lock Jack in the pantry, where he will have warmth and food. As she tells Danny they need to be strong and brave, she is giving herself a pep talk, too. She needs to hold out hope the family can be saved, and she thinks saving Jack is a matter of will.


And when you get to the upstairs corridor you can crawl. I give my permission.

Wendy Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 50

After the Overlook—in the form of Delbert Grady—lets Jack out of the pantry, Jack beats Wendy severely, breaking her ribs. Wendy stabs him and thinks he may be dead; she then struggles up the stairs to return to Danny. She will not allow herself to crawl in Jack's presence, even if he is dead; she is determined to maintain some dignity. If Jack isn't dead, she can't let her guard down completely, so she only gives herself permission to crawl after she is out of his sight.


You're a mask. Just a false face ... You don't scare me.

Danny Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 55

When Jack is fully possessed by the Overlook and chases Danny to the hotel's third floor, Danny confronts the thing that was once his father. He recognizes the creature chasing him isn't his father but something else. In declaring he is not scared, Danny takes away some of the hotel's power. The possessed Jack pauses and tries to intimidate Danny, as if the Overlook needs the boy's fear to take his power. Danny stands firm.


Go. Run away. Quick. And remember how much I love you.

Jack Torrance, Part 5, Chapter 55

Responding to Danny's bravery during their last confrontation and his recognition that an evil force inhabits the shell of his father, Jack breaks free from the Overlook's influence for a moment to share parting words with his son. His words show Jack has goodness at his core; he refuses to carry out the Overlook's grisly plan against his son.

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