Study Guide

The Shining Violence

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

Ullman isn't comfortable talking about it, but he feels like it's his duty to tell Jack about how the previous caretaker killed his family with an axe. After all, the isolation of the hotel might have helped cause the tragedy, and Jack is about to be put in the same circumstances with his family.

JACK: I dreamed that I... that I killed you and Danny.

At this point in the movie, it seems as though Jack still loves his family enough not to kill them. This feeling won't last all that long, but at this point the thought of killing his family is nothing more than a nightmare for Jack.

JACK: But I didn't just kill you, I cut you up into little pieces.

As if his nightmare weren't bad enough, Jack dreams that he brutally butchered his wife and son. Little does he know that this is exactly what he'll try to do later in the movie. It's pretty sad that he can't see it coming.

JACK: I did hurt him once, okay? It was an accident, completely unintentional. It could have happened to anybody.

Jack is willing to admit that he injured his son once. But he's not convinced that this makes him an abusive dad. In his mind, he just had a temporary loss of control over his strength. But a child services worker might disagree with him on this.

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!

By this point in the movie, it's pretty clear that Jack has completely snapped and that's a danger to his wife and son. Luckily, Wendy is able to smack him unconscious with a bat before he can hurt her. After all, it sounds like he'd like to do a lot worse to her.

JACK: I think you hurt my head real bad. I'm dizzy. I need a doctor.

When his threats don't convince Wendy to let him out of the storage room, Jack resorts to begging in hopes of tricking Wendy into letting him out. Luckily for Wendy, she's too smart to fall for this.

JACK: Did your mother ever say that to you—that I would hurt you?

Jack wants to know if Wendy has ever told Danny that he (Jack) would hurt him. After all, he's sick of being treated like an abusive maniac just because he pulled too hard on his son's arm one time when Danny was very young. This kind of accusation is almost enough to send him off the deep end.

WENDY: It's... it's just the sort of thing you do a hundred times with a child—you know, in a park or on the streets—but on this particular occasion my husband just... used too much strength and he injured Danny's arm.

At the beginning of the movie, Wendy is happy to make excuses for her husband and to explain away the injury he caused Danny. Now it might be true that the injury was a total accident, but the fact that Jack was drunk at the time suggests that Wendy has more to worry about than just an isolated accident.

ULLMAN: The site is supposed to be located on an Indian burial ground, and I believe they actually had to repel a few Indian attacks as they were building it.

The Overlook Hotel is no stranger to violence. Even during its construction, the place was the site of several battles between the builders and some local Native Americans. Building the thing on a Native American burial ground is also something that never tends to work out well in the movies.

Cut to the two GRADY Girls laying on floor covered with bloodstains. Bloodstained axe on floor. Walls covered with bloodstains.

When Danny starts seeing visions around the Overlook Hotel, his visions never tend to be all that gentle in nature. In fact, they tend to be downright bloody and horrifying. Either this kid has a creepy imagination, or there's really some other person inside him who's showing him these horrible images.

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