Study Guide

The Shining Family

By Stephen King


The Shining is a story of a desperate family, made up of Jack and Wendy Torrance and their son, Danny. The Overlook Hotel is their last chance to make it as a unit, or so they believe. Sadly, the Overlook is all about destroying families and twisting familial love. To make matters worse, Jack is struggling with his own childhood abuse and the intense love-hate relationship he had with his father. This weakness is just what the Overlook needs to turn Jack from loving, family man, to hideous monster, bent on murdering those he loves the most. In spite of this, Danny never stops loving his father. The boy knows that Jack is under the control of his own mental demons as well as those of the Overlook. The Shining takes deep family-based fears and brings them to life, all the while maintaining a sense of hope. You just might need that box of tissues for this one.

Questions About Family

  1. How would you describe Jack and Wendy's relationship?
  2. Do you consider Danny an abused child?
  3. How does Danny's early childhood compare with Jack's?
  4. Why does the Overlook like breaking up families?
  5. How does Jack feel about his mother?
  6. What are some of the problems Wendy has with her mother?

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