Summary Of The Novel : The Shining

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Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s versions of The Shining both present an enigma of containing an evil hierarchy that revels in the face of tragedy. The novel contains several allusions to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, a short story about a the wealthy having an incessant ball during a plague. The Shining provides an extension of this story, depicting a vulnerable, poor family isolated in an opulent, immortal hotel that consumes and infects the most vulnerable of them all, Jack Torrence. While Kubrick’s film largely ignores the party that is integral to King’s novel, he does set up an elitist cult that takes advantage of suffering and builds a fortress out of its victims’ lives. King veers towards illustrating the destruction of such a system and puts more attention on the survival of the oppressed. King and Kubrick both portray a system that exploits and infects the vulnerable to achieve self-preservation. Through ostentatious imagery, juxtaposition of the Torrences and the Overlook, and symbolic background imagery, it is clear that the Overlook is a representation of American capitalism in both the film and the novel. The extravagant details of the Overlook in the film parallels how the wealthy display their status. Kubrick uses a wide shot, long take in Ullman’s tour of the Overlook to show off the grand staircases, lofty communal spaces, and scenic views the hotel offers. This hotel is made to be the best money can buy, somewhere few can afford to

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