Study Guide

The Shining Madness

Madness

ULLMAN: He ran amok and killed his family with an axe.

Mr. Ullman is no stranger to crazy. After all, he manages a hotel where one of the caretakers murdered his entire family with an axe. Ullman seems to think that the isolation of the hotel had a big role to play in the man's mental break.

ULLMAN: [He] stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West Wing, and then he put both barrels of his shotgun in his mouth.

It's possible that Delbert Grady killed his family out of frustration and that he was sane when he did it. But it takes a crazy person to stack his family up in little pieces and then kill himself. The dude never had any plans of getting away with what he did. He just wanted everyone dead.

ULLMAN: The police, they thought that it was what the old-timers used to call cabin fever.

Ullman mentions how the police thought that Delbert Grady had some kind of mental break because he'd been cooped up with the same people for too long. It's certainly a possible explanation, but not very likely once you see Grady's ghost wandering around the Overlook Hotel.

ULLMAN: And he had a good employment record, good references and from what I've been told, I mean, he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown.

One of the saddest things about Delbert Grady is that he never showed any signs of mental instability before coming to work at the Overlook Hotel. He was just a good family man like any other. But something about the hotel seemed to drive him completely over the edge. And the longer we watch this movie, the more we get a sense of what got to him.

JACK: Darling, light of my life, I'm not going to hurt you. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said "I'm not going to hurt you... I'm just going to bash your brains in!"

Well it's comforting to know that Jack would never hurt Wendy… oh wait. We didn't let him finish. He actually wants to use a bat to bash her head in. It's a good thing that Wendy bashes him first.

WENDY: Jack, there's someone else in the hotel with us. There's a crazy woman in one of the rooms. She tried to strangle Danny.

Even though it's practically impossible, Wendy immediately believes her son Danny when he tells her that a crazy woman tried to strangle him. The same thing nearly happens to Jack. But for some reason, Jack lies to Wendy and says he didn't see anything when we went into room 237.

JACK: Are you out of you f***ing mind?

Jack doesn't believe Wendy when she tells him that there's a crazy old woman running around the hotel. But the truth is that he knows for a fact that there are ghouls and ghosts all over the place. But he keeps it to himself because he wants to mess with Wendy before he kills her.

JACK: You can't get away. I'm right behind you.

By this point in the flick, Jack has definitely gone off the deep end. You can tell by the way he holds his axe so lovingly and tries to murder his son Danny. Oh yeah, plus the look on his face is absolutely psychotic.

MAN, dressed in Dog's costume, kneeling at foot of bed. He leans back and looks towards her. MAN, in evening dress, leans forward and looks at WENDY. CAMERA ZOOMS IN on them.

This is probably the craziest thing that any character in this movie sees. Why is the person wearing a dog mask, and what was he/she doing with the person in the room at the end of the hallway? It seems sexual, but we're not entirely sure. And it's that uncertainty that makes the whole thing so crazy.

INJURED GUEST, with scar running down his head and face. He raises the glass he is holding.

INJURED GUEST: Great party, isn't it?

Of all the people in this movie, Wendy is the last to see the crazy visions of the Overlook Hotel. But the hotel seems like it's saved the best for last, but the stuff Wendy sees is probably the craziest of all.

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