The Shining Chapter 17 Summary
How It All Goes Down
The Doctor's Office
- Danny is being examined by Dr. Bill Edmonds. He's getting an electroencephalograph or EEG to test him for epilepsy.
- Dr. Edmonds asks him if he sees flashing lights, or hears funny noises, or smells anything unusual, or feels sad or bad before he has his visions. Danny says he doesn't.
- After the EEG, Dr. Bill tells Danny he probably doesn't have epilepsy.
- He wants to talk to him alone, about Tony. Danny says, "He's just an invisible friend. […] I made him up. To keep me company" (17.52).
- Doctor Edmonds says he knows that's what Danny tells his parents. He promises not to tell them, if he tells him the truth. Danny says he isn't sure who Tony is. He knows he's at least eleven, maybe much older. Tony is always a little too far away for Danny to see him well. When Tony comes, Danny goes with him and Tony shows him things.
- Danny used to like Tony; the things he showed Danny were nice, at least after the DIVORCE thoughts in Jack and Wendy's head stopped. Now Tony shows him terrible things, but he can't remember what they are. All he remembers is Redrum.
- Dr. Edmunds asks Danny to try to make Tony come right now. Danny agrees to try. He concentrates and begins to hear his parents' thoughts.
- They are worried about him. Wendy is thinking about her sister Aileen who was hit by a car when she was just a little girl. Wendy's thoughts are frantic, running through all the different ailments Danny might have.
- Danny hears Tony's voice calling him, but it's weak and far off. Still, Danny follows the sound into the darkness.
- Look, there's Tony. He's showing Danny his dad. Jack is reading old files and old newspapers in a dark place. He finds a scrapbook with a white leather cover.
- Danny wants to make his dad drop it – "some books should never be opened" (17.116).
- The boiler that Jack checks so often is making a loud noise. Danny can smell alcohol on Jack as Jack reads the scrapbook. Now he hears the angry drunk person (or thing) with the roque mallet, coming for him.
- Danny makes himself come back from the place Tony shows him.
- Dr. Edmunds asks him what he saw, but Danny doesn't remember very much. The boy gets irritated when the doctor presses him.
- Edmunds asks him if he knows when Tony first arrived. Danny doesn't really answer. He tells the doctor that his mother is concerned about him, and that she's thinking about her sister Aileen who died when she was very young.
- When Edmunds presses Danny for more information about how he knows this, Danny says he's tired.
- Alone with Jack and Wendy, Dr. Edmunds says he can't find anything technically wrong with Danny. He describes Danny's "trance" (17.162). He thinks Danny's Tony-visions have to do with anxiety over the move to the Overlook, and over Danny's belief that his parents were thinking of getting a divorce. They are shocked, because they never even talked about divorce.
- Jack is honest with Edmunds about his drinking and Danny's broken arm. Edmunds tells them he asked Danny about his arm, and Danny didn't seem worried about it at all.
- Having an 'invisible friend' is normal for kids, and Danny's ability to 'know' what his parents are thinking is just proof that he's very observant and sensitive. Wendy doesn't quite buy it – Danny is a little too good at finding lost things.
- Edmunds says that if Danny's home life hadn't changed for the better, he could have been headed for psychosis. Now, he's just purging Tony from his system because he doesn't need him anymore.
- Edmunds thinks everything will be OK with Danny now.