A House Among the Trees Themes & Motifs

Glass, Julia
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The Tragedy of Illness

The author uses illness to remind the reader that it is a natural part of life and can affect anyone. Cancer is one of the three illnesses that change characters within the novel. Both Nick and Tommy’s mothers died of cancer. For Nick, the cancer “wheedled its way into her bones, her spine first of all” (275). Tommy, however, barely mentions it. The only way the reader knows is because Nick discovers it during his research on Morty and Tommy. However, this shows the different ways these illnesses can affect people. One remembers it daily, and one pretends to have forgotten. This detail mirrors real life in a way many readers will understand.

Then, the author explores the effect of alzheimer's. This could be considered the most natural of the three as it develops at an older age. The novel does not dwell...

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This section contains 2,503 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A House Among the Trees Study Guide
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