Jack Torrance Essay

Decent Essays
Through the use of descriptive juxtaposition, denotation, and symbolism, King illustrates a power structure favoring wealthy, skilled men in which Jack Torrance is at the bottom. King identifies Jack as “a small, balding man in a banker’s suit and a quiet tie” with a “small lapel pin. . .[that] read simply STAFF” (6). In contrast, the interviewer on the other side of the room, Stuart Ullman, has a “part in his hair [that] was exact, and his dark suit was sober but comforting” (1). By placing timid and small Jack in front of the proper and confident Ullman, Jack’s inferiority is emphasized. Jack’s balding state, short stature, and simple attire indicate a weak, powerless man, whereas Ullman’s dark suit and comforting aura demonstrate a much more powerful, self-assured man with wealth and experience.…show more content…
Jack is thus placed below Ullman in the power scale. Similarly, King describes the difference in authority between the two men through literal definition. He writes that during the meeting, “Ullman looked at Jack coolly and appraisingly” (10). The literal meaning of “appraisingly” in the sentence suggests that Ullman is looking at Jack to estimate his monetary value and determine his worth. King’s usage of the adverb conveys that what Ullman cares about is wealth and status; because Jack is not rich and is need of a job, he falls at the bottom of the power hierarchy. Ullman is valuable because he is skilled, has money, and is the boss. Therefore, he is at the top. King further exemplifies the power structure through the symbol of Ullman’s desk. Jack and Ullman’s position has “Ullman behind the desk and Jack in front of it, interviewer and interviewee, supplicant and reluctant patron” (6). The desk symbolizes the division of power and control; behind the desk, where Ullman stands, contains the power, as he is the boss.
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