House - Prologue through Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of House.
This section contains 863 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

Prologue through Chapter 2 Summary

The novel House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker is a modern horror novel that retells the Christian story of salvation. While the story can be interpreted on different levels, it is the ultimate story of good versus evil. In the novel, four people are pitted against a serial killer demon in a game that requires someone die before the game can be won. There is a twist in the killer's plan when a young, innocent girl steps forward to give her life so that the others could live.

In the prologue of the novel, a character named Barsidious White stands in the doorway of an abandoned house. A broken window is the only sign that anyone has been in the house in years. It is noted that the broken window is a sign of an escape attempt. Further in the house are other signs of what has happened in the house the evening before. It indicates this was a perfect place for Barsidious' game. He is eager for another game.

In Chapter One, Jack and Stephanie are on their way to a marriage counseling session in Montgomery, Alabama, when Jack is almost rear-ended by a highway patrolman. The highway patrolman drives next to Jack's car until Jack finds a place to pull off the road. Once Jack is stopped, the highway patrolman races past them into the distance. As they drive on, Stephanie convinces Jack they are lost. Jack sees the lights of a law enforcement vehicle ahead and stops to ask directions. It is the same highway patrolman who almost rear-ended their car earlier.

In Chapter Two, the officer, Morton Lawdale, asks Jack to step to the back of the car. The officer uses his billy club to point out a brake light on Jack's car that is not working. The officer tells Jack the road is under repair for the next three miles but points out a shortcut through the backwoods. He warns the two that if they have car trouble they should stay in their car until he passes by in the morning on his way home. Although Stephanie discourages it, Jack takes the detour.

Prologue through Chapter 2 Analysis

The prologue of the novel sets an eerie backdrop for the beginning of the novel. A man, identified later as Barsidious White, stands looking into an abandoned house. There has been a struggle there because it is noted that window has been broken in an attempt to escape. It is noted that further in the house, there are more signs of some sort of game that has been played here by White. The rat, the torn wall paper, the smell of mold and the numerous references to death all add to the foreboding sense of coming doom in the novel.

After the numeral indication of Chapter One, there is an indication that it is 5:17 in the evening. This is an indication that the time will be a factor in the novel. Jack and Stephanie are trying to get to a meeting on time, later it is learned the two are headed for a marriage counseling session. There is some mention of an accident that has driven the couple apart, but no details of this accident are given. Jack seems truly interested in saving their marriage, while Stephanie seems unconcerned. Jack believes that even after their session, Stephanie will go ahead with the divorce that she seems to want. Her singing is irritating Jack. Jack's tendency to speed is irritating Stephanie.

It is to this already tense scenario that Highway Patrolman Morton Lawdale enters. Stephanie first notices his cruiser, and then Jack gets worried as the car gets closer and closer without stopping. In an attempt to keep from getting rear-ended, Jack stomps the gas. Lawdale rolls up beside Jack's car and keeps pace with him until Jack finds a place to pull over. When Jack stops, Lawdale's car races past him. This unnerving scrape with the law combined with Stephanie's realization that they are lost makes the couple even more irritated with each other.

To make matters worse, the two come upon the same patrolman at a blocked road. He embodies the personality of the cop who has let the power of his job go to his head. Although the only problem that the law officer has with Jack is that he has a brake light out, Lawdale is threatening, overpowering and cocky. Lawdale tells Jack that he can tell he is a maniac and an idiot by the way that he drives. When the officer learns they are lost, he suggests an alternate route though the Alabama backwoods that will get them to their destination. Note that the officer warns the couple not get out of their car if they have car trouble, but instead to stay in their vehicle and he would pass them on his way home. Of course, considering the way that Lawdale has treated Jack, these instructions could not have been very comforting. Notice Lawdale's habit of cracking his neck. Notice also that his eyes are blue when Jack is finally able to see them clearly.

This section contains 863 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
House from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook