|← Causal vs. Moral Responsibility||Gender →|
The shining describes the story of Jack, his wife, Wendy and their son, Danny at the Overlook hotel when the hotel had closed for winter and he is left to take charge of the premises until it reopens during summer (Kubrick et al. 1980). Throughout the play, Jack has been seen as both a failed hero and a villain as well. However, I prefer to see him a villain because he is more of a criminal than he is a failed hero. This is because, throughout the play, he has been involved with lots of violent thoughts that lead him into beating his wife and Halloran (Kubrick & King). Even though he has been hoping to be a loving and caring father and husband, his temper, alcoholism and his past experience of child abuse have made him worse than he imagines. His temper made him broke Danny's arm and hit a student before he lost his job as a teacher. In the play, he has always been planning to kill Danny and Wendy as a way of revenge, a situation that has made them living in fear, thus he is a villain (Kubrick et al. 1980).
Wendy is on the other hand viewed as a passive character by most readers. However, she can be seen as a protagonist and a subtle character as well. As a protagonist, Wendy is seen to stomach the abusive nature of his husband for the sake of their son. Throughout the novel, she remains to be brave and faces his brutal husband with courage when he holds her ankle and threatens to kill her (King, 2002). We find her playing a central role in that she as a mother, it is her obligation to protect her son and at the same time she should care for her husband and not abandon him. She does not escape from reality instead when she senses danger in the hotel, she decides to carry a kitchen knife so as she can protect himself if the demons attack her. Wendy is also said to be a protagonist because she is the only person in the story that faces trials from all directions. As a woman, the society expects her to be weak and submissive, instead, she takes a stands and we see her making sound decisions like going to Sidewinder (Kubrick et al. 1980).