Publication date:June 26, 2012
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
The Shining is a Steven King novel about a young boy, his mother, and his father. They are watching a ski lodge up on a mountain all by themselves. As time passes the father possessed either by ghost or by madness attempts to murder the family like the previous care taker. This is one of the best American gothic novels on my list because it has a movie adaptation. The movie adaptation allows for me as a teacher to have visual representations of the tropes I want to teach. The Shining lends itself to being a both an American novel, and just a plain good horror story. This gothic story should be fun for any student because it’s easy to read, filled with interesting ideas, and is well written. This story is valuable to the gothic because The Shining is a story about mazes, madness, locked rooms, damsels, and just about every other trope the gothic has to offer. The Shining is going to be one of the easiest books to talk about content wise in this text set. This book will be for any of my students, because I believe it to be suited to any level of reader. Though due to the length of The Shining I would not be expecting students to read the entire book. I would expect my students to be able to pick chapters they want to read, and if they were not able to pick any I would have no problem pointing them to chapters that could be class specific.
The Shining is generally appropriate to 9th graders according to a grade of 9.2 on the Flesh-Kincaid score. Conceptually, the content of this book is appropriate for that of an 11th grade class due to its horror driven themes which may prove to be too much for younger readers. This is one of the less challenging books in the text set, and I would allow access to it for any of my 11th grade students. The Shining exposes readers to a writing style which can help them to advance their literary careers by interpreting character design. Students will be able to identify with the three dimensional dynamic characters of this story, and through this process it should provide the hook for weaker readers to help them digest its content.
Use in Class
The Shining will be used as a secondary text to go along with the core text. I will be expecting my students to compare the story to their core text in a paper. I want them to explain the elements of the gothic in The Shining and where they take place. I will also be expecting my students to be able to talk about The Shining in group discussion. I feel that The Shining is a strong text for this assignment because it is the American understanding of horror while still being a classic gothic story. I don’t see students being able to come up with any really difficult or new ideas about horror with this text, but I do expect a basic comparison of the class material which should prepare them for comparing and contrasting in the SOLs. For a majority of my students I expect them to be able to read this book independently, but for my students with lower literary efficiency I would make an exception and read this book in class. I believe this book should be shared with all my students because of how important of a gothic novel it is.
Submitted by Nicholas Earley