The Shining Book Review

The Shining is a book written by renowned horror author, Steven King. The book is about a man named Jack Torrence, a complicated man who is a retired alcoholic. He is looking after the Overlook Hotel as his last chance for a good job. He brings with him his wife Wendy and his son Danny. Jack has had a rough past with abuse, with him being abused by his father when he was a child and assaulting his son while he was drunk. He was also fired from his last job for assaulting another child by popping holes in Jack’s car. While Danny is at the hotel, he envisions many horrible things, even one entity strangling him. After a few months in the hotel, Jack starts having strange envisions as well, and starts to go insane. As he descends into madness, he is told by the hotel to kill his family, and eventually attempts to. Unfortunately for Jack, Danny is able to use a special ability called shine to call a man named Dick Halloran to save him and his mother. With Dick arriving, he is able to save Danny and Wendy while Jack is left in the hotel, accidentally causing it to burn down because the boiler exploded.

After finishing the book and the film, I can say both pieces are great horror. They both have an off-putting feel to them, making the viewer always on the edge of their seat. The characters are exceptionally written, making me care even for Jack during the story. Story-wise, I think that the novel is superior to the film because it is able to develop these characters, although the film is much more enjoyable to ingest. Overall, The Shining by Steven King is a fantastic horror read and I highly recommend it.

“Tags” Argumentative Essay

The short story, “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers presents the ghost of Big Eddie as a round and dynamic character. To start off, Big Eddie is shown to have emotions inside of himself, even though he is in the afterlife. The story is set in a place where the dead walk upon the living, with “Tags” being the way people could remember the deceased. Big Eddie confirms this by saying, ‘”When that old dude told me you could still be in the world as long as people kept you in their minds, I knew what I had to do. They see these tags and they remember”‘ (Pg.74). Eddie explains how he knows that if someone makes tags, people in the non-deceased world remember them. This reveals how Big Eddie is someone who has hidden emotions by hinting that he fears being forgotten in the world, further developing his character. Additionally, Big Eddie explains how he died, which is able to make the reader to figure out more clues about the character. Big Eddie claims, ‘”I told this dude to meet me in the park and he said okay. When he showed with the money, I tried to take him off, and he flashed a badge on me.’ ‘A cop.’ ‘Yeah. I had my piece out and was about to hit the dude, when his partner shot me”‘ (Pg.74-75). Big Eddie opens up that he was someone who was killed by a police officer for selling drugs and attempted assault. This unlocks the fact that Big Eddie was someone who was caught up in the criminal lifestyle and paid the heavy price. This is able to make Big Eddie much less admirable, but a much more depth character. To finish off, Big Eddie is able to show more feelings about himself, unlocking a new door in his mind. In the story, different characters are explaining to each other how they died, with a few of them freaking out about what happened. Big Eddie does not freak out but he does say this, “‘Being alive ain’t tagging. Being alive is walking the damned streets, and making love, and listening to some music. This is just hanging on to what you know already is gone. This ain’t nothing like no life”‘ (Pg.83). Eddie realizes that this life in the afterworld is much more than being alive. This predicts that Big Eddie regrets his actions that caused him his death. He realizes that the rest of his afterlife is in shame and pain. He can never go back, which makes the reader come back to respect him once again because he is ashamed of his actions. These pieces of evidence prove that Big Eddie from “Tags” is a round character in the story.

The Shining-Second Reading Update

The Shining is a horror novel written by Steven King. I have not finished this book yet, but I am deeply invested in it. Previously, I stated how the book goes into much more depth into the backgrounds of the characters than the movie did which I something I really enjoy. The more I read, the harder it is for me to see Jack start going to a murderous mindset because the book tells us how much of a terrible life he has had and makes us sympathize with him. Because the book is much longer than the film, we only at first see little signs of him going insane, which progressively get worse over time. This makes us fear for Jack’s wife and son, Danny and Wendy. Danny is also progressively getting more haunted by the hotel, luring him closer to his demise. Wendy is also starting to see the dark side of the hotel too, which the film did not cover that much. Overall, it is a very suspenseful but intriguing read.

“House of Gold” by Twenty-One Pilots

Poetry is used everywhere throughout the world and in media. Almost every book, film, show, piece of art, etc. have hidden meanings placed into them. However, the piece that is constantly using key elements of poetry is music. While music may have all of these hidden meanings, people do not usually pay attention to these meanings behind the lyrics and even the instrumentals themselves. There are many bands that are able to use their lyrics for multiple meanings, although the duo, Twenty One Pilots are able to create entire albums based on a single story. This includes their song “House of Gold” from their 3rd album Vessel. In the song, there are many complex structures of sayings that can be analyzed much more closely. Twenty One Pilots’ “House of Gold” is a piece of poetry.

       There are many strong lines that are used throughout the 2013 hit, but only three will be presented. The first lyric to be analyzed is the title of the song.

She asked me, 'Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?'

This line in the song explains how a mother figure asks her son if he would buy her a “House of Gold”. Poetry is able to make a strange sentence seem very deep and emotional when thought about. This lyric can be thought of as a mother wanting her son to become a successful person in life, which is indicated by the use of “House of Gold” which can be interpreted as making a lot of money and becoming wealthy. This is able to unlock the fact that even though the sentence at first sounded strange, it was able to be understood if it was looked at as poetry. Another lyric from the song is,

‘And when your father turns to stone,

Will you take care of me?’

This line explains how when the father is frozen in stone, the son will take care of the mother. This can indicate that the mother wants her son to take care of her when her husband dies. The meaning of these lyrics is able to completely change the tone of the song, from making it sound gleeful and innocent to dark and depressing. Lastly, the lyrics are,

And since we know that dreams are dead,

And life turns plans up on their head,

I will plan to be a bum,

So I just might become someone.

This line says that the speaker says that their dreams are dead and that they plan to be bum. This is able to be deciphered as the speaker explains how they became a failure. This ties to the previous lyrics, because the speaker now knows that they will have disappointed their mother by not being successful. They regret it so much that they even want to crawl out of their own skin. The usage of metaphors and sentence structures is able to make the listener completely change their perception of the song. Overall “House of Gold” by Twenty One Pilots is able to be considered poetry if looked at carefully.

Reading Update: The Shining

The Shining is a book written by renowned horror author, Steven King. The book is about a man named Jack Torrence, a complicated man who is a retired alcoholic. He is looking after the Overlook Hotel as his last chance for a good job. He brings with him his wife Wendy and his son Danny. Jack has had a rough past with abuse, with him being abused by his father when he was a child and assaulting his son while he was drunk. He was also fired from his last job for assaulting another child for popping holes in Jack’s car. While Danny is at the hotel, he envisions many horrible things, even one entity strangling him. After a few months in the hotel, Jack starts having strange envisions as well, and starts to go insane.

I have not finished the book yet, but I am deeply invested in the story. I have watched the Stanley Kubrick film adaptation of “The Shining” and it has become one of my favorite movies of all time, which inspired me to read the novel written years before the 1980 film. However, the book differs from the film from small moments to a huge twist in the many plots. There is much more backstory in the book about Jack, Wendy, Danny, and even the hotel itself. There is also much more time for the book to flesh out the characters and what they are like than in the film, even though the novel might feel slow at some points. Overall, The Shining is an amazing book and I cannot wait to finish it.

The Lying King

The Lion King (1994) is a film that contains many dominant narratives and stereotypes that depict Africa in a certain way. The movie contains a wild and primitive land with no human life.. During the beginning of the film, there are many clear indications revealing how the depiction of Lions follow the African dominant narrative that Lions are capable of ruling entire sections of Africa. The film is able to make this stereotype clear through visuals and dialogue shown throughout the beginning of the story. With Lions being crowned the king of the animals in a lot of children’s media, it would make sense for this movie made for children to contain this single story of the power classes of the animal kingdom.