Study Guide

The Shining Youth

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DANNY: Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, there's hardly anybody to play with around here.

Danny is an isolated kid, although we're not totally sure why. Maybe it's because he has superpowers, or maybe it's because he spends his time chatting with his invisible friend Tony. Either way, the kid doesn't have many friends and there's no one to talk to about all the weird visions he keeps seeing.

WENDY: What about Tony? He's looking forward to the hotel, I bet.

Whenever she has trouble communicating with her son, Wendy likes to ask Danny's "friend" Tony what he thinks of things. But in this case, Tony can see that horrible things will happen at the Overlook and he doesn't want the family to go there.

DANNY: Tony, do you think Daddy will get the job?

TONY: Yeah, he did. He's going to phone Wendy up in a few minutes to tell her.

Tony seems to have a weird knowledge about what'll happen in the future. Of course, Danny could just be talking to himself and guessing all of this. But the coincidences pile up a little too much for belief as the movie goes on.

DOCTOR: Does Tony ever tell you to do things?

DANNY: I don't want to talk about Tony anymore.

When the doctor tries to push Danny about the things Tony tells him, Danny shuts down. Apparently, Tony doesn't like him talking to adults about his imaginary friends or apparent superpowers. This is just all more evidence that something creepy is going on with Danny.

DOCTOR: Mrs. Torrance, I don't think you have anything to worry about. I'm quite sure there is nothing physically wrong with Danny.

The doctor isn't concerned about Danny's fainting episode because there doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with him. She's also not concerned that Danny was apparently talking to an invisible friend just before his episode. But hey, how's she supposed to know that Danny might have superpowers that put a big strain on his mind.

DOCTOR: Oh I know. Kids can scare you to death, but believe me these episodes are not at all uncommon, and they look much worse than they are.

Despite Wendy's objections, the doctor insists that there's nothing really wrong with Danny. In her mind, kids sometimes flip out for no reason and there's no use in spending a bunch of time and energy trying to figure out what's wrong.

DOCTOR: Mrs. Torrance, most of the time these episodes with kids are never explained. They are brought on by emotional factors, and they rarely occur again.

The doctor is pretty sure that no one will ever know why Danny had a blackout fit in his home. She's also pretty confident that this sort of thing will never happen again. Little does she know that Danny is actually having visions of the horror he'll face once his family gets to the Overlook Hotel.

WENDY: No. He didn't like it too much at first, and then he had an injury, so we kept him out for a while, and, yeah, I... I guess that's about the time when I first noticed that he was talking to Tony.

When the doctor asks about Danny's past, Wendy says that Danny has never had an easy time socializing ever since an injury kept him out of nursing school when the other kids were developing their social skills. It's around this time that Danny started socializing by talking to Tony.

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.

Wendy is quick to defend her husband Jack for dislocating Danny's shoulder when he was just little. In her mind, it's the kind of thing that could happen to anybody. But she's clearly unnerved by the fact that Jack was drunk and angry when it happened.

JACK: I haven't laid a hand on him. Goddam it, I didn't. I wouldn't touch one hair of his goddam little head. I love the little son-of-a-b****.

Jack is sick of being treated like a monster because of one mistake he made with his son several years ago. When Wendy accuses him of hurting Danny a second time, Jack insists that he would never do anything to hurt the kid. That is, of course, until he decides to pick up an axe and chase after Danny with it.

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