• "One possible explanation is what has been called the "Reincarnation Theory." Toward the middle of the movie, there is a scene in which Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed. They have a little discussion about the hotel, and Jack says "It's as if I know what's going to be around every corner. I mean, I know we've all had our moments of deja vu, but this is ridiculous...." This could be an indication that Jack was there before, back in the 1920s (hence the photo of Jack at the end of the movie, dated "July 4th Ball, 1921"). The Jack we see alive is a "Jack" that has been reincarnated from the 1920s. (This "Theory" segment is not seen in the UK and Australian releases, so it's a little difficult to work out the ending without seeing the American release.) Another, more plausible explanation, given the setup in both the movie and the book, is that the Overlook simply "absorbed" Jack into itself, its history. In fact, the name of the segment of the DVD with the photo of Jack at the party is listed in the Scene Index as "The Overlook claims Jack." And, as the novel itself says, "Because here in the Overlook things just went on and on. Here in the Overlook all times were one." Since none of the plot hinges on any sort of time travel or recursive action on Jack's part, and since Kubrick doesn't spend any time developing the idea of reincarnation, the deja vu Jack experiences could just be more of the hotel playing tricks with him as it seduces him to do its will. The photo is simply another visual device Kubrick used to disorient the audience, giving the movie a bit of a "Twilight Zone ending" feel, and does not necessarily make rational sense, nor does it need to be "explained."
  • stanley kubrick made genre films and the shining is a supernatural horror. the photo at the end was a supernatural device that says more about the future of the hotel than it's past.
  • What that meant was he was the original man who killed his family way back when, and he had been reincarnated and had come back to the Overlook to kill again, like he killed his first family.
  • First off. the year dated in that photograph was 1921. I think it means that Jack had lived his previous life there at the overlook. and that he was reincarnated into Jack Torrance. And that his old soul brought him back to the overlook to kill his family and die there.
  • It is inferring that he has been reincarnated so that he can kill again, but, it leaves it so that is could also be that he just looks like the person that was there before.
  • Watched The Shining on youtube :) Such a chillingly awesome and intriguing film! Similar to what others have already mentioned, I interpreted from the photo that he was the caretaker, and had always been the caretaker, since his previous life. Jack Torrance: You WERE the caretaker here, Mr. Grady. Delbert Grady: No sir, YOU are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I ought to know: I've always been here. I haven't read the novel and I don't know too much about the idea of reincarnation, so forgive me if i sound ignorant with this question but... Can you be reincarnated into the same person, again? (RE: Jack Torrance) i thought that with reincarnation you come back as different people/animals for different life experiences? For anyone who is interested; This person's website is really interesting regarding hidden dates and symbolism in this film... Loved The Simpsons Halloween episode take on The Shining too - ! :) "The Shinning" lol!

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