Study Guide

The Shining Chapter 33

By Stephen King

Chapter 33

The Snowmobile

  • Around midnight it had snowed another eight inches, then stopped.
  • Amongst the other games, Jack finds a roque set. He picks up one of the mallets and holds it up, shaking it, as if in victory.
  • As he does this, little bits of his dream come back – "something about George Hatfield and his father's cane" (33.4). For some reason this makes him feel "a trifle guilty about holding a plain old garden-variety roque mallet" (33.4).
  • He swings the mallet around a little more, then puts it back.
  • When he sees the snowmobile, his face drops. It's yellow and black, "like a monstrous mechanized wasp" (33.8) ready to sting and hurt. Jack thinks this is apt – after the snowmobile gets them to Sidewinder, "they were going to be hurting plenty" (33.8).
  • If only Danny didn't need to get out of here – it would be so fun to take the roque mallet to the thing.
  • No, no. Of course he can't pound the snowmobile. He knows Wendy speaks the truth when she says Danny needs to get away from the Overlook. Smashing the snowmobile would be the same thing as smashing Danny.
  • He finds the sparkplugs and, grudgingly, installs them.
  • When he can't find the battery, he's isn't upset. Truth be told, he's "glad" and "relieved" (33.20). He's tried his "best" but the snowmobile is a no-go.
  • After making a more thorough search of the shed, Jack still doesn't find the battery.
  • Then he kicks the snowmobile. And then he sees the box that must hold the battery.
  • Jack's frustration is intense! The Overlook was his only chance and now it's gone. If only he hadn't looked in here for the battery! He decides to pretend he only imagined the battery.
  • When he opens the door of the shed and looks out, he sees Danny trying to build a snowman. He can't believe what he was thinking inside the shed. Then he remembers contemplating Wendy's murder last night.
  • He realizes that the Overlook is doing something to him. Jack thinks that it's himself, not Danny who is "the vulnerable one, the one who could be bent and twisted until something snapped" (33.39). Jack is afraid of what he might do when he goes to sleep.
  • The windows of the Overlook look "like eyes" (33.41), eyes watching Jack.
  • In a moment of crazy understanding, he replays things he's learned at the Overlook – the injuries to Danny's neck, hallucinating alcohol in the bar, the incident with the radio, the dreams, and the scrapbook.
  • He goes back into the shed, picks up the battery, shaking, and then drops it. For a moment he's afraid it's broken, but when he checks it, it's fine.
  • Jack installs the battery; it's fully charged. Now the snowmobile should work fine. Unless the Overlook wants to keep them here and turn them into ghosts.
  • And there's one other little reason it might not work: Jack isn't ready to leave yet. He acknowledges this.
  • Quickly, he rationalizes everything that's happened. If he hadn't seen Danny playing in the snow, he wouldn't have gotten second thoughts. He thinks,

    It was Danny's fault. Everything had been Danny's fault. He was the one with the shining, or whatever it was. It was a curse. If he and Wendy had been here alone, they could have passed the winter quite nicely. (33.58)

  • No. He wants Danny here too. But the Overlook wants him to kill Danny and Wendy so Jack won't be "distracted" (33.60).
  • He starts to get a head ache and decides he's making things too complicated. He just needs to decide.
  • Jack is so afraid that once in Sidewinder he'll soon find a grimy bar and start drinking again. Either way Jack will lose.
  • He pulls the magneto from the engine and throws it out the shed's back door, in the snow, toward the mountains, as far as he can. Now "he [feels] at peace" (33.67).
  • He's excited to give Wendy the good news, and before giving it, to her he get into "a snowball fight with Danny" (33.68).

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