I mentioned at the start of the last chapter that I’d found three themes simultaneously communicated in the bear costumed man scene. The first was the revelation of Jack sexually abusing his son. This chapter will introduce the other two themes.

As well as Danny’s teddy bear pillow, there are a handful of Winnie the Pooh refs. In the kitchen Halloran asks Wendy, “Your husband introduced you as Winifred. Now are you a Winnie or a Freddie?” A Winnie the Pooh stuffed toy appears in the lobby not far from the black teddy bear that parallels Halloran’s murder. It is also placed next to the column from which Jack launched his axe attack. Note the presence of a ball - a further connection to Halloran's murder as a "ball" or party event.

The same stuffed bear is seen sitting on a couch next to Danny’s fire engine and a baseball bat as Danny watches TV in a trance-like state with his mother.

The Winnie toy seen on the couch with a fire engine further communicates that Danny is represented as a bear elsewhere in the film.

Now here’s where things start getting a bit weird and confusing. A stuffed bear is featured on the Colorado Lounge set, directly in front of the fireplace. We see it in the wide shots of the room and in the steadicam shot of Wendy running to wake Jack up from his nightmare.

In the latter shot the bear rug face is seen with snarling teeth and the fast movement of the camera causes the face to move toward us rapidly, which parallels the zoom shot in the bear man felatio scene. Now you could say to yourself, “It’s just a bear rug”, but an interesting detail is that the bear rug is missing as Wendy walks through the Colorado Lounge with a baseball bat.

As the scene progresses, Jack catches Wendy reading his manuscript and he follows her threateningly across the lounge and up the stairs, at which point we see that the bear rug has reappeared.

Is this a continuity error? No. Both the bear rug and Jack Torrance are present in all of the Colorado Lounge scenes in which we see the fireplace area. But they are both missing in the build up to Wendy reading the manuscript. The bear’s reappearance later in the scene is a parallel of Jack’s reappearance. So we have Halloran, Danny and Jack symbolically paralleled by stuffed bears. Winnie the Pooh also famously wore a red shirt in his early cartoons which is paralleled by Danny wearing red as he is sat on the bed, Halloran wears a red shirt as he travels to the Overlook to be murdered, the black teddy bear version of Halloran wears a red shirt, and Vivian is wearing a red shirt in the documentary – Jack, “You look cute in your red shirt”.

Now here is something really interesting. The original cinema release of The Shining featured an additional ending scene that Kubrick deleted from the film during its first run across US theatres. Briefly, the ending showed Ullman visiting Wendy and Danny in a hospital after escaping from the Overlook. I won’t cover this ending scene in detail yet, except to offer the following selected description by someone who saw this full version of the film.

Mark Ervin – “After the shot of Jack frozen in the maze, cut to Ullman moving through a white hallway. The camera back tracks via steadicam keeping Ullman perfectly centred in a medium shot. He’s wearing a large, in fact really large, fur coat (brown fur, like a bear) and carrying some ugly dark roses for Wendy.”

The following production still confirms Mark Ervin’s observation about the bear-like fur coat in the missing scene.

Note that Ullman’s fluffy hair also makes him look like a bear, which is also true of the psychiatrist character.

Returning to the bear costumed man scene there are two particular details that can further help us decode the symbolic parallels of bears with the film’s characters. One is that it wouldn’t be possible for the bear costumed man to give felatio, due to the large teeth of his mask. This appears to be an indicator that the costume is not real, but merely symbolic or hallucinatory. Another detail is that the bear costumed man has a loose flap hanging down the back of his costume, which reveals his bare bottom.

Bear suit … bare bottom. Is this a pun? Is Kubrick using a sly visual metaphor to reveal certain characters in the film, such as Jack and Ullman, as bear-faced liars? Being that the two bears in the film that have teeth are the one in the Colorado Lounge, which represented Jack, and the felatio bear, are we to conclude that Wendy actually sees Jack giving felatio instead of Danny? Absolutely. As it turns out, the abuse suffered by Danny is something that has been passed down through the generations. Abused children grow up to become abusers and repeat the sins of their parents in a continuous cycle.

And this takes us directly into another thematic device in The Shining – several generations of the family are being played by the same actors.