A House but Not a Home

Passage starting with “a house in which no one room had any sympathy with another…” ending at the end of the page (pg.8).

One thing I noticed within this passage is the repetition of the word “house”. This made me think of the differences between the word “house” and the word “home”. In my opinion the word “home” is a way to describe a place or thing that provides the feeling of comfort or safety, it does not have to be a literal house, but rather anything or location that provides someone with these feelings. The word “house” solely describes a type of building and its physical appearance rather than the feelings it can provide, thus taking away emotions and only leaving the empty structure. Diving in further into the lack of those feelings, the phrase “no one room had any sympathy with another” (p. 8) provides the sense of disconnect. Also, the descriptions of the building mention the grand size of the house and the narrow staircase. This leads to a sense that while the house is large, it is still very constricting.

I think this passage may highlight issues within romantic or familial relationships and the disconnect within them. Within the book there has been mention of some relationships that are struggling or where the partners are physically or emotionally distant from one another. The distance and disconnect among the rooms could represent the physical and emotional distance going on within these relationships. I personally think that this passage emphasizes strained relationships within a house and how that can contribute to the lack of comfort and safety one feels thus preventing the sense of a “home” and instead it remains a meaningless building, a house.

2 thoughts on “A House but Not a Home”

  1. Considering our conversations about the internal versus external worlds, I agree that this passage is noteworthy. Audley Court may have once been home for Alicia, who knows many of the secret chambers, until Lucy comes and starts altering her private chambers, changing it to suit her tastes and thus invading Alicia’s space. The description of the layout makes it sound almost maze-like, potentially reflecting the complex inner workings of our main cast. The line about “that good old builder–Time” reminds me of a house in the US called Winchester House, whose owner spent her life purposefully turning the house into a labyrinth for spirits supposedly haunting her.

  2. I really like what you said here in this post. I completely agree with you on how a house and home are different and a home is somewhere where you feel comfort and safe. I think this can be seen with George throughout the story. When he gets back from Australia and finds out that his wife has died he seems completely lost and doesn’t know what to do. I think the main reason for that is because his wife was his home and now that he has lost her he doesn’t feel safe or comfortable anymore.

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