Study Guide

The Shining Chapter 28

By Stephen King

Chapter 28

"It Was Her!"

  • For some time, Jack stands listening to Wendy comforting Danny behind their bedroom door, which is locked.
  • He feels like even if he stays sober for a couple of decades, Wendy will still be sniffing him for alcohol and thinking the worst about him.
  • Thinking of the way her face looked when she grabbed Danny and went to the bedroom makes him furious. He thinks, "She had no goddamn right!" (28.3).
  • He admits that he did "terrible things" when he was drinking, like breaking Danny's arm. But he has stopped drinking – doesn't he "deserve to have his reformation credited sooner or later?" (28.4). If not, "doesn't he deserve the game to go with the name" (28.4)?
  • It comes to him that Wendy will have to leave the bedroom eventually for food. He decides to wait for that to happen.
  • He goes downstairs and into the Overlook's dining room. As he strolls through, he tries to imagine the masked ball in August of 1945, just after America had won the war. He imagines the wealthy people, their fine clothes, jewels, and fine food. He imagines the cry for the masked revelers to unmask at midnight.
  • Again he thinks of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death."
  • Now Jack's going into the barroom on the other side of the dining room. At the 1945 masked ball there would have been an open bar.
  • Whoa – in the semidarkness Jack sees that the bar that was empty when he was in here before is now fully stocked. Drops of beer are coming from the taps, and Jack can smell it.
  • When he turns on the lights he sees he was mistaken. The shelves are empty, and the taps are dry.
  • Deeply frustrated, really wishing for a drink, he takes a seat at the bar. Out loud, he pretends he's talking to a bartender named Lloyd. He orders twenty martinis or, as he and Al used to call them, "martians." Jack asks Lloyd to put them all in front of him at once.
  • Jack eats some Excedrin and then suddenly feels watched, as if the people from the masked ball are whispering and laughing at him. When he turns around he sees no one.
  • He begins talking to his imaginary bartender about "the wagon" (28.38). He drinks from the imaginary glasses and pretends to toss them over his shoulder.
  • Behind him, he can hear the masked ballers again, whispering and laughing at him.
  • He tells Lloyd that when you are a drunk, the wagon [being sober] looks like a wonderful place to be. But, once you are on the wagon you realize things about it that you didn't when you were a drunk. The wagon has splinters that cut, and is a comfortless place, where all the women are cold and hard. All they do is sing church hymns. When you are on the wagon you realize that it's really, "A church with bars on the windows, a church for women and a prison for you" (28.47).
  • He realizes Lloyd has left him, but the masked ballers are behind him. When he turns to tell them to stop bothering him, he sees that the place is empty.
  • That's when he starts to sing, and to think of how Danny had looked last time he saw him: "the eyes sparkling and open, […] the catatonic , zombielike face of a stranger […]" (28.53). He looks ready for the insane asylum.
  • What is Jack doing down here pouting when his son is like that?
  • Then he hears Wendy saying his name.
  • He tells her he didn't hurt Danny. She says it doesn't matter. Angrily, he says it does matter!
  • Just then Danny wakes up. First he screams horribly screams. The he breaks from Wendy's grasp and runs to Jack, sobbing and screaming, "Oh Daddy, Daddy, it was her! Her! Her! Oh Daaaaaahdee— " (28.67).
  • Danny is in Jack's arms, crying into his shirt. Jack looks at Wendy and asks her, "Wendy, what did you do to him?" (28.71). She says, "Oh Jack, you must know—" (28.73).
  • The snow starts falling once again.

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