The Reflection of Kubrick’s The Shining
Many people today have read Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining and enjoyed his use of literary devices, but what about the techniques that transferred into Stanley Kubrick’s film? First, The Shining is about an already dysfunctional family, that move into a hotel because the father, Jack Torrence, has gotten a job as the caretaker of the hotel. Before taking the job, Jack is informed that the previous caretaker got “cabin fever” and killed his entire family. His son, Danny Torrence, is psychic and telepathic and begins to see and be bothered by the spirits living in the hotel. These spirits eventually possess Jack and he too tries to kill his family, which also includes his wife, Wendy Torrence.
In the film, Kubrick makes better use of symbolism and the archetypical characters in the story than King did. Stanley Kubrick has taken advantage of the words written by King and turned them into a genius image. The film is loaded with copies and cycles, individuals existing in two time periods with clashing personas, which are constantly battling each other throughout the movie.
The use of archetypical characters is utilized in the film and also in the novel. Jack Torrance most definitely has his own individual opposing selves to manage. At first he seems, without a doubt, to be a reasonably steady father and spouse, yet this starts to crumble the longer he stays at the Overlook Hotel.
Wendy is also portrayed as the very caring mother, but very passive wife. This is also extremely distinctive, but not exactly from the start of the movie. It is said that Stephen King didn’t particularly like how Kubrick portrayed Wendy’s character. He claimed that the character he wrote about in his novel was stronger than the character Shelley Duvall played and that the character that was portrayed was just there to scream and be helpless.
Danny Torrence was probably the least typical character. He is young child who is talented with a supernatural power of perception. He only shows this puzzling a piece of his mind through the persona of Tony. There is a scene at the beginning of the film where Danny is seen talking in the bathroom sink. The terror existing apart from everything else sinks in when we hear two voices coming from the bathroom. This is all completed over the wonderfully rattling sound track, which sounds like ear ringing from a head-squashing headache. The audience has no choice but to be drawn inside Danny’s mind and way of thought.
As far as symbolism in the film, mirrors are greatly used. To some degree, the film utilizes mirrors as an image of actuality versus fiction or fantasy.
C.T. Walters talks about this in his critical essay entitled Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining: Scattered through The Shining, mirrors become repositories for unseen psychic spirits. Invisible ghosts bedevil Jack. Danny asks his father whether or not he loves him; whether he would ever hurt him. Before he replies, Jack...