House - Chapters 6 - 8 Summary & Analysis

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Chapters 6 - 8 Summary

After Stephanie and Jack run back inside in Chapter 6, the strange man begins tapping on the door with his shotgun. The group hears a clank like a deadbolt, and then the man walks away. Betty describes the man as the devil himself. Randy tries the doorknob but cannot open the door. They reach the back door just as the man gets there and locks it also. Betty will tell them only that she believes the man is there to kill them. As the group is making plans to secure the house, they hear the man walking on the roof.

The men run upstairs to make sure the windows are locked. As Jack leaves, Stephanie's mind wanders back across all of the times that Jack has left her in the past, especially on the anniversary of Melissa's birthday. When the men come back downstairs, Betty shows them newspaper articles about a serial killer who kills his victims in abandoned houses. The group hears a tinny rattling noise as the man drops an old soup can with a message written on it down the chimney. The message lists the "house rules." The man plans to kill all of them by dawn unless they buy their freedom with one dead body.

In Chapter 7, Randy decides to put an end to the man's "game" by shooting out the front door with a shotgun. Randy orders everyone out of the house, but a truck in the yard mysteriously starts and rams into the house, blocking the opening Randy has made. Randy drops the shotgun. Stewart picks it up and threatens Randy with it. He lines Randy, Jack, Leslie and Stephanie up against the wall and tells them that it is they who brought the trouble into the house.

In Chapter 8, Stewart orders his prisoners to move toward the kitchen and into the meat locker. Although Stephanie tries to run, Jack grabs her and leads the way into the locker. Stewart makes a deal with his guests: he will only kill one of them and will even let them decide which one is to die. Stewart suggests death would be justice for Stephanie. Randy tries to bribe Stewart, with no luck. Stewart threatens to drown Randy and tells Leslie they will let Pete have his way with her. Jack speaks up to distract the three and then tells Stewart that he has chosen himself to be killed. Stewart and Betty get into a argument about who they should kill and Jack takes the opportunity to grab the shotgun. As he and Randy fight with Stewart over the gun, he tells Leslie and Stephanie to run. Leslie jumps for Betty while Stephanie runs out of the locker. Stewart gets the gun away from Jack and aims it at him but Leslie trips Betty so that the gun is knocked off aim. Meanwhile, Stephanie realizes she is alone and lost.

Chapters 6 - 8 Analysis

In this section of three chapters, Jack, Leslie, Stephanie and Randy get some information about what they are up against. Betty shows them the stack of newspapers she has detailing reports of people found dead in abandoned houses throughout the country. Betty believes it is this same killer that is after them. Although he has only been referred to as "him" before, Betty says they call him White, after the first family that he killed. She describes him as the devil himself. It is assumed this is the same White as the Barsidious White who stands in the doorway of the abandoned house in the prelude of the novel.

So far, it is known that the man is large and is armed with a shotgun. Jack gets a look at the man's face and sees a shiny silver mask with jagged eye holes. These holes show ice cold eyes. The man has fixed both the front and back doors so they cannot be opened from the inside. When Randy shoots through the front door, a truck collides into the building where the door is and the house melds to the wrecked truck to seal any possible exits. For this reason, it appears that the man has some sort of supernatural power over the house.

Notice also that as the situation becomes more tense Betty and Stewart continue to make jabs at the others, targeting the things of which they are most afraid. They threaten to leave Stephanie to freeze to death in the meat locker, a suggestion that not only terrifies her, but also causes her to cry out that it wasn't her fault, especially when it is suggested this death could be considered justice. Although it is still unsure what incident is bothering Stephanie so badly, it can be inferred that it had something to do with the death of a girl named Melissa.

The characters begin to carve out their roles and personalities quickly. Jack is the one who thinks rationally and takes charge of the others to keep them safe. Randy would like to be the leader but often takes his cues from Jack. Randy is too impulsive and too easily distracted by his anger to make a good leader. Stephanie prefers to run from her problems and pretend like everything is okay. Leslie irritates the others by trying to analyze everything, including the reasoning behind White's strange game.

Reference to sin, guilt and redemption begin to emerge in this section. For instance, Betty and Stewart repeatedly refer to Jack and the others as sinners. At one point, Betty indicates they thought they were better off stumbling around in the dark than knowing the truth. Although Jack and the others believe she is referring to the fact the lights have gone off again, Betty may actually be pointing out that sinners would rather stumble around in the darkness that their sin creates than to face the sin and live in the light.

Although sick, White's game is also reminiscent of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the atonement of sins as believed by those of the Christian faith. White asks for the sacrifice of one of the people in the house in exchange for the death of all of them.

This section contains 1,035 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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