Will Monroe shared the following Tweet with us:
My first impression when I saw it in 1980 was that there was a Marshall McLuhan subtext to The Shining. What grabbed me was what for me was the climactic, most horrifying moment of the film: when Wendy discovered Jack’s manuscript with nothing but “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” repeated on it. To someone who’s read a lot of McLuhan, this is the perfect visual metaphor for the horror of the “Gutenberg era” legacy.
Jack represents book culture not only as an aspiring writer but also as a former schoolteacher. His disdain for television is shown in the sarcastic way he says (in the car) “It’s OK, he saw it on television!” By contrast, he makes a sanctimonious appeal to a “written contract” when Wendy suggests that they should leave the Overlook Hotel in order to get help for Danny.