The Shining Book vs. the Movie

The Shining Book vs. the Movie

The Shining by Stephen King is considered a well-known classic by many. Its characters are popular and lines and scenes from the film are iconic. Characters such as the eerie ghost twins to moments such as the “Here’s Johnny’ scene where Jack Torrance breaks down a door with an ax to get to his terrified wife, Wendy, are constantly referenced in pop culture.

Surprisingly, these scenes aren’t actually in the book. The ghost twins, the daughters of Delbert Grady, barely are even mentioned. They never make contact with Danny and are really only mentioned when Jack Torrance is thinking about hurting his family.

The Overlook Hotel, the setting of the novel, is also slightly different. In the book, it’s explicitly haunted with events occurring very often that sets the family on edge. In the movie, however, a lot of the haunted things could also be interpreted as Jack’s descent into madness. The death of Jack Torrance is also completely different, polar opposites, really. In the movie, he freezes to death after chasing Danny and Wendy through the hedge maze, but in the book not only is there no hedge maze, he is lured to the boiler room which eventually blows up. Also, Mr. Hallorann doesn’t die and eventually aides Wendy and Danny instead of being killed by Jack.

Wendy’s character has also been criticized in the movies. Even Stephen King himself hates Wendy’s portrayal. People claim that her character is weak and the writing of her was misogynistic. Wendy definitely was a lot more independent in the books and saved herself and Danny.

The movie may be known all over, but a lot of the popular things that have been recreated in modern media are the film’s own creations.