Study Guide

The Shining Time

By Stephen King

Time

Chapter 4

Now it was five o'clock, and although he […] couldn't tell time to well […] he was aware of passing time by the lengthening of the shadows, and by the golden cast that now tinged the afternoon light" (4.2)

Downright poetic, isn't it? This is an early hint that ideas of time, of shadow, and of light (golden cast) and sunshine will work together in the novel. It also points eloquently to Danny's innocence, and to all the things he doesn't know.

When he came back to the world of real things, he was lying on the floor with beans and mashed potatoes on his lap and his mommy was holding him and crying and his daddy had been on the phone. (4.9)

Since Danny doesn't always remember the things he sees when he goes with Tony, and/or concentrates too hard, he has the experience of 'losing time' often associated with schizophrenia and other mysteries of the human mind.

Chapter 6
Wendy Torrance

"[…] she dreaded the day when [Danny] grew old enough to lay blame" (6.44).

Most parents probably feel this sense of guilt and incompetency at some time or other. When there are questions of abuse and dysfunction, as is the case here, these feelings are magnified. The passage also alludes to a dread of the passing of time, a dread of the future.

Chapter 11
Dick Halloran

"What you got, son, I call it shinin on, the bible calls it having visions, and there's scientists that call it precognition. I've read up on it, son. I've studied on it. They all mean seeing the future." (11.78)

Everybody in this novel seems obsessed with time, particularly the future, kind of like real people. This aspect of Danny's abilities isn't lost on his parents, though they try to rationalize it away. Halloran is the first time he's ever had a real conversation about it. It's about time.

Chapter 18
Danny Torrance

"The sitting room wall by the door leading into the bedroom and splashed with blood and […] brain matter" (18.84).

This is what Danny sees when in the Presidential Suite. We later learn from the scrapbook that two men with organized crime connection were murdered there when Harry Derwent owned the Overlook. Danny can see bit of the past, as well as predict what might happen in the future.

Chapter 37

In the Overlook all things had a sort of life. It was as if the whole place was wound up with a silver key. The clock was running. The clock was running. (37.23)

Danny just wound the clock in the ballroom with the silver key. Possibly, in doing so, accelerates Redrum, and moves all the hotel's times forward to the present.

He was the key. Tony had warned him and he just let things go on. (37.24)

Apparently, the psychic intensity of Danny's presence also has a hand in speeding things along. He activates some sinister mechanism. Although he feels guilty, if he hadn't come to the Overlook, it would still be standing. The bitter irony is that Jack might still be standing, too. Not that any of this is Danny's fault. He's just a little kid!

Chapter 43

All the hotel's eras are together now, all but the current one, the Torrance Era. And this would be together with the rest very soon now. That was good. That was very good. (43.5)

As we discuss in "Setting" and "What's Up With the Epigraph?" the Overlook operates on a temporal scheme all its own. The novel challenges the way we think about time, in so many ways.

Chapter 54
Danny Torrance

And now Tony stood directly in front of him, and looking at Tony was like looking into a magic mirror and seeing himself in ten years […], as if Tony – as if the Daniel Anthony Torrance that would someday be—was a halfling caught between father and son a ghost of both […]. (54.34).

For the juicy lowdown on this passage, go to Tony's "Character Analysis."

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