The Shining Paper

This essay has a total of 937 words and 5 pages.

The Shining


The Shining

The Shining is about a white middle class dysfunctional family that suffers from natural
and supernatural stresses in an isolated Rocky mountain hotel. .The father, a former
teacher turned writer, is portrayed as a habitual drinker, wife- and child-abuser, with a
kind of evil streak The mother is shown as a battered woman. The film suggests that due to
the abuse at the hands of his father and the passivity of his mother, the child of this
family developed psychological problems. He had imaginary friends and began to see
frightening images.

Early in the film , a psychologist is called in to treat the troubled child :and she
calmed the mother with a statement to the effect that, " These things come and go but they
are unexplainable". This juncture of the film is a starting point for one of the central
themes of the film which is : how a fragile family unit is besieged by unusual forces both
natural and supernatural which breaks and possesses and unites with the morally challenged
father while the mother and the child through their innocence, love, and honesty triumph
over these forces.

One motif which reappears in the film is the power of nature, especially in relation to
the individual. In fact, the film begins with a majestic shot of the Rocky Mountains
showing its beauty and height. The beauty of nature and even friendliness of nature
changes as the film develops. As the movie progresses the snow still seems white and pure,
almost virgin like, but nature becomes an isolating force, not providing the family with a
retreat from the pressures of modern life, but forcing the family to turn in on its
dysfunctional and psychopathic self. Imprisoned by the snow and the tall mountains , the
family seems weak and vulnerable.

Nature has no compassion for the plight of the family, nor is it a malicious force; it is
merely a power with constructive or destructive potential. We see its constructive side
when it freezes Johnny to death.

The weakness of the individual is another motif in the film. Perhaps we see this most
clearly with the boy who is sensitive to and harassed by the supernatural forces in the
hotel. As we know from everyday experience children seem weak because they are small and
usually are very sensitive and easily hurt by the negative and destructive outbursts of
adults. Our general sense of a child's vulnerability is heightened by the way the child of
The Shining is forced to grapple with such evil and terrible forces which are likely to be
difficult for all of us.

Another way the weakness of the individual is shown in The Shining is through the contrast
between the family and the large hotel. Through out the film , the hotel seems just so
large that even if it wasn't haunted we could easily understand why one would not be
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