by Stephen King
Drugs and Alcohol Quotes in The Shining
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
He had tried to sooth the baby and dropped him on the floor. (6.32)
This memory is Wendy's. As far as we can tell, Jack and Danny don't remember it. If so, they don't think about it in the book. Why was Jack so drunk that he woke baby Danny and then dropped him? Because he was celebrating the acceptance of one of his short stories by Esquire. In The Shining, alcohol spoils everything in some way.
It had nothing to do with willpower, or the morality of drinking, or the weakness or strength of his own character. There was a broken switch inside, or a circuit breaker that didn't work. (14.54)
What do you think of Jack's analysis of his alcoholism? Is this a healthy way to look at alcoholism? Does it relate to current scientific thinking thought on the subject? If it's true, is Jack doomed? Or are there ways to control the broken switches inside ourselves?
He had been a lush; he had done terrible things. […] But if a man reforms, doesn't he deserve to have his reformation credited sooner or later? And if he doesn't get it, doesn't he deserve the game to go with the name." (28.4)
This strikes us as a rather dangerous train of thought. It places the blame for all sorts of bad behaviors on other people. But, we totally understand Jack's anguish. Wendy seems to expect him to fall off the wagon at any moment. Unfortunately, her trust in him is already broken, and getting that back will take lots of work from both of them.