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Nostalgia Is Great Essay

818 words - 4 pages

Stephen King’s novel The Shining illustrates the struggles that people face when in isolation. The main character Jack Torrance is challenged with his own personal demons, including alcoholism and his temper. In the given passage, King displays Jack as being confronted with one of his demons, alcoholism. The scrapbook that Jack finds in the cellar of the hotel symbolizes Jack’s secret obsession for the hotel history. The alcoholism in Jack’s life has been replaced by the history of the Overlook, and it leads to self-destructive behavior.
Jack’s alcoholism has been a problem for him in the past. In the passage, Jack is rubbing his lips, which seems to be a bad habit correlated with drinking. ...view middle of the document...

Jack’s desire to find more information about the hotel’s past is dominating his mind and his time. He was assigned to keep the hotel running smoothly for the months when the staff are away, not to slither and snoop on past memories. However, curiosity cannot stop Jack from wanting to know more, even if it takes daunting amounts of time.

Like Jack’s alcoholism, the scrapbook absorbs plenty of his time. His obsession with the scrapbook is causing a detachment from his family, and in this passage in particular, a detachment from Wendy. The perception of time has either been lost or greatly skewed insofar as Jack does not realize how much time he is spending isolated from his family and with the scrapbook instead. He is focusing on the past of the Overlook and forgetting about what is truly important, the present, his family. Jack’s original intention when he agreed to take the caretaker position at the Overlook was to spend more time with his family and work on his play. The scrapbook is creating a barrier between Jack and his family. Interestingly, the scrapbook, being an inanimate object, appears to have a personality of its own, drawing Jack in, much like alcohol would pull him in.

The feelings of guilt that Jack has occur for multiple reasons. He feels guilty...

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