The Significance Of Fairy Tales In Stephen King's The Shining

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, “Red Riding Hood,” and “Bluebeard” are all horrifying tales in their original standing as fairy tales. Yet, when related to this modern horror, The Shining, through the eyes of little Danny theses tales take on a new light…well more of darkness. Stephen King hints to other texts throughout this book, many are fairy tales. One of the deepest and eerie moments in relation to the tales is the chapter titled “Inside 217.” In this section, Danny betrays his parents by stealing the pass key as an effort to calm his curiosity, “…curiosity killed that cat and it was the HOPE of satisfaction that brought him” (King 317). Danny soon realizes the magnitude of this ancient proverb as he adventures …show more content…
It is debatable if King purposely only names the tale instead of quotes it. As far as fairy tales are concerned “Bluebeard,” is probably leaning farthest into the horror genre. The story, as do many others, have many versions of the tale. In this particular version, a young woman marries a ghastly older man with a blue beard, he tells her that she can scour the castle while he is away, but must not go in this one closet. Danny just as the young bride in “Bluebeard” lets curiosity rule his psyche until he is able to quench his curiosity with the forbidden room. Succumbing to a similar sight as the young bride, Danny discovers the naked and bloated ghostly corpse of Mrs. Massey in the bath tub. In the Grimm version of “Bluebeard” named “Fitcher’s Bird,” the young bride discovers the chopped up corpses in a tub; but when they are removed from the tub they reanimate themselves back to life. The version “Fitcher’s Bird” is a more accurate parallel to King’s bathtub scene than the original version. The overarching morals to the many “Bluebeard” tales consist of curiosity is dangerous, don’t go in that room (a horror trope), and be cautious of the person you marry because they may not be who they appear. All of these lessons and themes range through the book, while relating Jack to …show more content…
If the characters are analyzed in reference to both stories they can be viewed as parallels; Jack is the Wolf (seemingly innocent at first but turns deadly), Danny is Red (doesn’t stay on his path as told and ventures to the forbidden), Wendy is a tossup but most likely parallel to the Grandmother (seeing as Jack/the Wolf goes after her and Danny). The last character parallel is ahead in the reading, but Hallorann could be a reference to the Huntsman/hero. Yet again, this tale is a moral of not giving in to curiosity and misjudgment of people. The curiosity rises with the references to the Red Queen’s croquet game, where in Danny is the hedgehog and Jack is the Red Queen attempting to whack him with the mallet. As Danny ventures to the bathroom, he first stares into a mirror before stepping into the ghastly room; just as Alice did in Through the Looking Glass. Curiosity gets the better of Danny, putting him in the situation of being strangled by the grotesque Mrs. Massey “…OFF WITH HIS HEAD!” (King 318). Many fairy tales share horrifying tropes and themes with gothic tales; making you question “are fairy tales really for children and conversely is horror

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