In The Shining, Jack Torrance's character becomes the hired caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, a fictional haunted hotel set in Colorado. How might the hotel’s isolation influence the overall plot...

In The Shining, Jack Torrance's character becomes the hired caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, a fictional haunted hotel set in Colorado. How might the hotel’s isolation influence the overall plot of the story?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Stephen King's The Shining moves between a psychological tale and a preternatural story. For, the blizzards and the resulting snowdrifts outside the ironically-named Outlook Hotel create a non-dimensional setting, an isolated building in a wasteland devoid any outside natural references. With such an environment, Jack begins to feel trapped in a void, and within this void, distorted further by his alcoholism, Jack's mind spirals out of reasonableness and surrenders to the evil powers who inhabit some of the rooms.

King writes in this novel, "Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters." Sensory deprivation has been proven to cause great psychological problems such as hallucinations and delusions. As Jack sits in an isolated room surrounded by a blank environment outside the windows, his alcoholism, coupled with the seclusion of the hotel from the world, all contribute to his strange imaginings. Additionally, without the presence of positive forces such as human activity, the atmosphere is devoid of the congenial atmosphere created by such forces as love, happiness, and laughter. All these conditions transform Jack so that Wendy is concerned,

...he looked to her like an absurd twentieth-century Hamlet, an indecisive figure so mesmerized by onrushing tragedy that he was helpless to divert its course or alter it in any way.

Like Roderick Usher of Poe's tale, Jack is victimized by his environment. 

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