Study Guide

The Shining Family

Family

From the start of The Shining, you can tell that there's something not quite right about the Torrance family. Maybe it's Danny's imaginary friend; maybe it's Jack's short temper with his wife Wendy, or maybe it's the fact that Jack dislocated his son Danny's shoulder when Danny was just a toddler.

They're far from ideal, and it looks like their isolation at the Overlook Hotel is going to highlight any dysfunction in their relationships. But little do we know that it'll highlight a whole lot more than just bad relationships. It'll take the very concept of family and turn it into something horrifying.

Questions About Family

  1. When do you first sense that everything's not quite right with Jack and his family? Why?
  2. What is Delbert Grady's reason for killing his family? How is it connected to Jack's situation?
  3. When does Jack turn against his family for good? What provokes the shift and why?

Chew on This

The Shining destroys any notion we might have that families have a natural love for each other.

The Shining reminds us that family abuse is usually something you can see coming from a mile away.

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