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The Psychology of

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Danielle Pace

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of The Psychology of

The Psychology of
'The Shining'

Danielle Pace
AP Psychology 6th hour
Mrs. Magee
2014

Summary of The Shining
Reflection
'The Shining'
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Based on the book by Stephen King

The Shining is based on a novel by the acclaimed sci- fi and horror writer, Stephen King. The story starts out as a husband and father, Jack, tries to obtain a job as a caretaker for the Overlook Hotel during the six months of winter while the hotel is abandoned and snowed in. He gets the job and he, his wife Wendy, and five year old son Danny move into the hotel. The first month goes well, but the lack of contact with the outside world starts to gnaw at Jack as he slips in and out of delusions and bouts of rage. Living in the hotel is not going so smoothly for Danny or Wendy either, for Danny is haunted by 'visions' and ghosts of former hotel residents. Danny and Jack begin to have more and more breakdowns as the next month goes on, and at one point Jack almost attacks Wendy but she hits him with a baseball bat causing him to fall down a flight of stairs.
At this point, Wendy is so afraid for her and Danny's lives, she locks Jack into a pantry in the basement. Thinking that all is well, she and Danny relax for the night. Jack gets out of the pantry, however, with the help of one of his delusions. He is so enraged at Wendy, that he finds an ax and heads to their room to kill his family. Wendy and Jack escape in time though, but they have no way to get away from the hotel since their Snowcat, a snow mobile, has been destroyed by Jack. Luckily, the hotel's chef, Hallorann, who has a special connection with Danny called 'the shining', senses that they are in danger and heads to the hotel in his own Snowcat. Hallorann is killed by Jack as soon as he steps foot into the hotel; Danny witnesses this and runs outside into the hotel's famous maze with Jack in pursuit. Danny eventually outsmarts Jack and escaped the maze. Jack, so deep into his psychosis, slumps into the snow , laughing to himself until he freezes to death.
Critique
At first, I really didn't enjoy the movie. It was slow, there were random elements that were not explained, and the ending scene made no sense. The very end was a picture of Jack back in the 1920s at a party, which was one of his delusions, but it apparently happened or the director wanted you to think that it happened. It was a very confusing and semi-boring movie, I was astonished that it was considered a 'classic'. I also hated that Wendy was a stereotypical woman of the 1970's, who would scream hysterically when in danger. She did eventually standup for herself and push Jack down the stairs, but that was after a drawn out scene of the two of them arguing and going up stairs. After I looked up some of the symbolism and began to understand why they were placed into the movie, I did enjoy it a bit more. I also liked the fact that Danny was a 'shiner' and had ESP, those gave the movie a sci-fi feel to it. I thought Jack Nicholson's performance as a deranged man, slipping deeper into psychosis every minute, was done quite convincingly. If Jack was not the main actor, I feel like the movie would have been even worse.
Extra Sensory Perception
Alcoholism
Identical Twins
Definition:
Extrasensory perception is the ability for a person to perceive information ,that most people cannot, by using their mind. This can include telepathy, speaking to others with ones mind, also precognition, the ability to 'see' an event before it happens, as well as others. These abilities are not recognized by most in the scientific community and cannot be officially proven at this time.
The scene shows that Dick is well aware the he, his grandmother, and Danny posses a special ability to communicate via telepathy. They can talk without using their mouths, just their minds. This ability is not one of a person's five main senses, therefore it is an extrasensory perception that most people do not posses. Danny is afraid to talk about his ESP because he knows it isn't something everyone has.
Page: 264
Chapter: 6
Definition:
Identical twins are literally identical in every way. They are created by the forming of one egg and sperm, but the egg divides into two separate but identical eggs that form two infants. Identical twins with have the same genetic make-up and gender.
Schizophrenia
Incentive
Amygdala
Cones
Night Terrors
Insecure Attachment
Fear
Page: 13
Chapter: 533
Page: 298-299
Chapter: 7
Definition:
A condition where a person has an uncontrolled drinking problem, causing them to binge on alcoholic beverages despite their own well being and of those around them.
Wendy:
"It was just one of those things, you know. Purely an accident. My husband had, uh, been drinking, and he came home about three hours late. So he wasn't exactly in the greatest mood that night. And, well, Danny had scattered some of his school papers all over the room, and my husband grabbed his arm and pulled him away from them. It's – it's just the sort of thing you do a hundred times with a child, you know, in the park or in the streets. But on this particular occasion, my husband just used too much strength, and he injured Danny's arm. [Nervous laugh] Anyway, something good did come out of it all, because he said "Wendy, I'm never gonna touch another drop. And if I do, you can leave me." And he didn't, and he hasn't had any alcohol in, uh, five months."
The quote shows that Jack had not been thinking
clearly and was highly aggressive due to the alcohol. Despite Danny just being a child who had made a mistake, Jack severely overacted and broke Danny's arm. The quote also shows that Jack drank frequently and turned to it when he was having troubles in his life. He did not care how the alcohol had affect himself or his family until something tragic happened. Also, later in the movie Jack reverts to his drinking ways and loses touch with reality.
Page: 97
Chapter: 3
Two identical twin girls show up in the hallway of the hotel and try to convince Danny to come play with them. They are not 'real' twins, because they actually died several years earlier but when they were alive they would act and dress very similar. They died when they were 10 years old.
Definition:
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder where a person has a hard time what is reality and what is made up, they often hear voices, have hallucinations and delusions, and have trouble focusing.
Warning! Some fowl language! Cover Fiona's ears!
In this scene, Jack is seen very upset and goes to the hotel's bar in search of some alcohol(also goes with alcoholism and his need for a drink). Jack knows that there is no alcohol or other people in the hotel, but due to his schizophrenia, he has delusions and sees things that do not exist. In this delusion, he imagines himself with all the alcohol he could want and his favorite bartender, Lloyd (also showing that he spent a lot of time in bars in order to have a favorite bartender). A healthy person would not have delusions like this, proving that Jack does have a mental disorder, like schizophrenia.
Page: 669
Chapter: 16
Depth Perception
Definition:

Incentive is a reward/goal that makes a person want to do something, such as money, success, or happiness.
Stuart Ullman
: ...The winters can be fantastically cruel. And the basic idea is to cope with the very costly damage and depreciation which can occur. And this consists mainly of running the boiler, heating different parts of the hotel on a daily, rotating basis, repair damage as it occurs, and doing repairs so that the elements can't get a foothold.
Jack Torrance
: Well, that sounds fine to me.
Stuart Ullman
: Physically, it's not a very demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here during the winter is, uh, a tremendous sense of isolation.
Jack Torrance
: Well, that just happens to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'm outlining a new writing project and, uh, five months of peace is just what I want.
In this scene, Jack is talking to the manager
of the hotel about the job Jack is thinking of taking. Even though the job is not physically demanding, the fact the Jack and his family will be locked in a hotel without contact from the outside world for several months is daunting. Despite this, Jack is still wanting to take the job because he will be able to write his book and spend time with his family. What Jack wants to gain from working at the hotel is his incentive, or his drive to do the work.
Page:471
Chapter:12
(Emotional Amy)
Definition:
The amygdala is a part of the limbic system in the brain where emotion stems from. The amygdala helps create emotional memories and reactions.
There is a HUGE amount of emotion going on in this part of the movie. Wendy is experiencing confusion, fear, sadness, and helplessness practically all at once thanks to her amygdala. Jack, on the other hand, is feeling powerful, dominant, and almost pleasure from the rouse he is getting out of Wendy. If they did not have their amygdalas, they would be like zombies with no feeling at all.
Page: 72
Chapter: 2
Start at 0:00 end at 1:35
Definition:
Night terrors are a type of
sleep disorder during non- rapid eye movement sleep, the first couple hours of sleep or during naps; they are not dreams. Typically they affect small children, causing feelings of fear and dread. They are less likely in adults but they can occur.
In this scene Jack is taking a nap after several sleep deprived nights. During his nap he has a deeply disturbing night terror where he murders his wife and family. It is a night terror and not a night mare since he is not in REM sleep, when the camera does a close up on Jack's closed eyes, they are not moving like they would during a nightmare in REM sleep.
Page: 284
Chapter: 7
Page: 156
Chapter: 4
Definition:

insecure attachment is a type of detachment that was discovered during the Strange Situation experiment. When a child has insecure attachment, they may not fully enjoy their surroundings. Also, they cry and be upset when their mother leaves them, but when she returns, they may remain upset. Some may not even be affected by her coming or going.
Scene 1:35-3:00
Little Danny is obviously upset about something that happened to him in the hotel, but when he sees his mother come to him and try to comfort him, he does not react to her. He remains sad and upset, refusing to let his mother make him feel better. If he had a secure attachment with his mother, he would have felt better after she comforted him.
Definition:
Cones are receptor cells in the retina of the eye that allow us to perceive color. Without cones, we could only see in black and white with the help of our rods.
While taking a tour of the hotel, Jack, Wendy and Danny admire the colors of the stained glass windows and of all the art. They can only see these colors because they have cones that perceive and detect color. Rods also help with seeing colors because they interpret light and dark, allowing more colors to be perceived.
Page: 206
Chapter: 5
Prejudice
Learning
Definition:
depth perception is the ability to see in
3 dimensions, instead of 2 dimensions(which is flat). It allows us to see distance(height and depth).
Start at 0:30 and end at 0:40
When Wendy opens up the bathroom window
to escape from Jack, she sees the large drop from the window to the ground. Her depth perception allows her to see that there is a drop and also that there is a great distance from the window to the ground. Without depth perception, she would only see the ground and not be able to tell how far down it is. Our ability to detect light and dark play a major role in depth perception.
Page: 245
Chapter:6
Definition:
a strong feeling of terror that is felt by the whole body. Fear is an emotion generated by the amygdala. The body may react differently when it is experiencing fear.
WARNING! Nudity! It's really gross.. Sorry:(
Jack goes to investigate the mysterious room 237, where Danny was apparently attacked. Jack was fearful of what he might find, considering what happened to his son. In the bathtub, Jack finds a naked woman, who he begins to kiss of course. She then morphs into an old lady zombie, scaring Jack and making him experience fear once more. His feeling of fear was caused by his amygdala due to stressors in his environment. Jack has learned fear due to observation and conditioning throughout his life. While Jack is under the influence of fear, body goes into "fight or flight" mode, sending his nervous system into over drive in order to keep him safe.
Suicide
Definition:
the process of gaining new knowledge by experience or studying. Things that are learned are harder to forget.
Page: 313
Chapter: 8
Danny was not born knowing how to ride a tricycle, he had to learn how to do it. It probably didn't take him too long to learn with help from his parents. Since he has learned how to ride a tricycle, he will probably remember how to do it for the rest of his life, especially since he has the motivation to enjoy riding around.
Page: 662
Chapter: 16
Definition:
when person intentionally kills them self, either to end their own suffering or to spare them self from further suffering.
Stuart Ullman:
I don't suppose they told you anything in Denver about the tragedy we had in the Winter of nineteen seventy.
Jack Torrance:
I don't believe they did.
Stuart Ullman:
My predecessor in this job left a man named Charles Grady as the Winter caretaker. And he came up here with his wife and two little girls, I think were eight and ten. And he had a good employment record, good references, and from what I've been told he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown. He ran a muck and killed his family with an axe. Stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West wing and then he, he put both barrels of a shot gun in his mouth.
Stuart, the current manager of the hotel, tells Jack about the previous winter caretaker of the hotel. Stuart tells Jack that Charles Grady went insane while at the hotel, murdering his family before he took his own life by shooting himself. Charles willingly took his own life by committing suicide because he could not stand staying in the hotel, or the fact that he murdered his family.
Definition:
hatred towards a group of people for no legitimate reason. Prejudice is not acting violently towards a group of people, it is just the hatred of them.
Page: 743
Chapter: 18
Start at 3:10 and end at 4:20
Mr. Grady, the former winter caretaker for the hotel, is discussing what Danny and Mr. Hallorann are really up to. Mr. Grady is a very prejudiced man, calling Mr. Hallorann a "nigger" several times. This shows that he lacks respect for blacks and also probably hates them, judging by the emphasis placed solely on his skin color.
Adrenal Glands
Definition:
a pair of glands that are located above the kidneys. These glands release hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline that allow the body to react under stressful situations.
Page:66
Chapter: 2
During this scene, everyone's adrenal glands are working, secreting adrenaline. Jack's glands are secreting it because of his fight response, telling him to fight instead of running away. Wendy's and Danny's adrenal glands are working because of their flight response, telling them to get away from Jack because he will hurt them. Later in the scene however, Wendy has to turn to her fight response because she is trapped in the bathroom and has to confront Jack. The adrenaline causes their hearts to race, increases breathing rates, and also causes muscle contraction. All of these symptoms help get your body ready to run in fear or fight back.
Personally, I enjoyed the project. I enjoy movies and I like to make cool presentations to show off to others. I think we had enough time to work on it if you managed that time well. It wasn't especially hard to work on, but I did get stuck on a couple slides when I had a good point but I couldn't find the term in the book. Coming up with ten different chapters to use was a also bit difficult, mainly since this movie was pretty centered around about three different chapters. Another problem I had was finding clips from the movie on the internet, some scenes just weren't out there yet.

Other than that, I liked making the presentation. It was pretty fun to do it on Prezi since it allows you to do a lot more things that PowerPoint. It let me make the map of the maze from the Overlook Hotel the background of my presentation and add all the slides in different parts of the maze. I think this makes my presentation standout a bit more than others, and it was fun trying to come up with a different way to present my project. I would keep this final project around for a long time, mainly since you can apply psychology to pretty much any movie. I would maybe open it up to tv shows also.

Over all, it was a fun project to do and I might even be willing to do it again, a smaller version of course!

Scene 0:30 to 0:45 and later at 3:20 to 4:15
Scene 0:43 to 1:02
Scene 0:55 to 2:30
Start at 0:00 end at 0:30
Start at 0:00 end at 2:22
Scenes 0:15 to 1:06 and 2:30 to 3:19
Scene 0:00 to 0:30
First 20 minutes of movie
(First 10 minutes of movie)
Scene 3:18 to 4:20
First 10 minutes of movie
Full transcript