Study Guide

The Shining Chapter 40

By Stephen King

Chapter 40

In the Basement

  • Suddenly, Jack remembers the boiler.
  • He's been in the basement since 6 pm, reading the files. Jack is still trying to find the missing piece of information that will make sense of everything. Now it's just after 5 am.
  • Quickly, he moves to the boiler. The pressure is super high.
  • For a moment, he imagines getting Danny and Wendy and leaving the hotel, letting the boiler blow it up.
  • The he remembers that this is his "last chance" (40.16).
  • All he has left is a life insurance policy. If he dies in a fire, Wendy will get lots of money.
  • He's sure he and Danny will be able to leave the hotel in time.
  • Jack is suddenly alert, aware he was daydreaming instead of doing his job.
  • Carefully, he released pressure from the boiler and listens to it stabilize.
  • Jack would love to have a drink right now.
  • He promises himself to watch the boiler very carefully for the rest of the winter.
  • His hands are aching and blistered from turning the valve in the boiler.
  • A nice drink would numb the pain.
  • He remembers hallucinating that the bar in the lounge was fully stocked.
  • Now that he's "saved the hotel […] [t]he hotel would want to reward him" (39.51).
  • A drink is what he wants, and he moves quickly up the stairs.

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