Study Guide

The Shining Hallorann (Scatman Crothers)

Hallorann (Scatman Crothers)

Tricky Dick

Actually, "tricky" doesn't really encapsulate Dick's personality, but "Clairvoyant Dick" or "Shining Dick" or even "Hero Dick" doesn't really have the same ring to it.

Dick Halloran is a perfect mentor character—he's the only other person in this movie who understands just how special little Danny is. From the moment he meets Danny, we realize that Halloran has the power to communicate without opening his mouth. When he finally gets a chance to be alone with Danny, Hallorann says,

"I can remember when I was a little boy, my grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it shining." 

Whatever this power is, Hallorann thinks it's positive, and that Danny needs to know that he's a unique boy. But unlike Hallorann, Danny doesn't celebrate his powers. In fact, he's actually pretty scared of them. And who can blame him?

But it's not like Dick Hallorann thinks everything about his "shining" is hunky dory. The moment Danny asks him about Room 237 in the hotel, Hallorann gets upset and says,

"Nothing. There ain't nothing in Room 237, but you ain't got no business going in there anyway, so stay out! You understand, stay out!" 

Well if there's nothing wrong with 237, then why is Hallorann so obviously freaked out by it? It's clear that even though he's old and wise, Hallorann is just as scared of his own powers as Danny. And he has good reason to be, since it's these same powers that lead him to return to the Overlook Hotel—having received some sort of shining distress signal from Danny—and get himself killed by Jack with an axe.

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