I use the word ‘masterpiece’ guardedly because I have never really thought that The Shining was a very good film. At the time, in 1980 when I first saw it, I didn’t like it at all. The way that Kubrick threw out so much of Stephen King’s great source material and replaced it with a lot of things that just didn’t seem to make when My Blue Moon Turns To Gold sense, really bothered me.

Hopefully, before I am finished with this essay, the reader will see it is only when Kubrick dramatically alters the script from Stephen King’s novel that we can begin to understand what Stanley Kubrick is trying to tell us in his version of The Shining. He did this for a very important reason – mainly to save his life. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. In fact, let’s start at the beginning. It is important to understand here that Jack and Danny are two aspects of Stanley Kubrick himself. Jack is the practical, pragmatic guy who wants to be a great artist. Danny is the other side of the great director.

It is Danny who is actually the real artist. The Danny side of Kubrick side is psychic, youthful and sees things that no one else sees. Danny also has a tendency to tell people things that should be kept quiet. The first part of the The Shining is probably the longest, most boring, 58 minutes in Kubrick’s career. The opening of the film takes place with us witnessing Stanley’s pragmatic side, Jack, cutting a deal with the Manager of the Overlook Hotel.

One other important point is that the Manager of The Overlook tells Jack that the previous caretaker went crazy from the stress of the job and killed his wife and two girls. Jack says he is “intrigued” but takes the deal anyway. The Manager of the Overlook Hotel is wearing red, white and blue. Danny also wear red, white and blue for almost the entire first hour of the film.

In this symbolic interpretation the Overlook Hotel is AMERICA. It was built, just like the Manager says, on the graves of Indians. Even when walking on the floor of the Overlook Hotel, one finds oneself trampling over various Native American symbols. The Overlook Hotel itself is America. Like America, the Overlook Hotel is new and shiny. It is ostentatious, corny and architecturally boring. All of the best people stayed here”.