House - Chapters 15 - 17 Summary & Analysis

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Chapters 15 - 17 Summary

In Chapter 15, Stephanie repeats "Oh, God" over and over as she is hiding in the closet. She is not praying, but thinking of all the ugly things she'd like to say to Jack. She feels her mind is snapping, the same way it did when her daughter fell through the ice on a pond and was killed. She realizes she doesn't believe in God. But she realizes that she believes both herself and Jack to be demons.

In Chapter 16, Randy runs from footsteps chasing him and slams into a wall. He opens a door into a room, where water runs nearly six inches deep across the floor. Stewart, armed with the shotgun, follows Randy as he progresses through this room and into another room. There are two Stewarts, one in front of him and one behind him. Randy tries to get away by escaping from the room through a pipe. One of the Stewarts attempts to follow him but gets stuck. Water is pouring into the room that Randy has entered. The only way out is through the pipe in which Stewart is stuck. Randy manages to get Stewart's gun away from him when he shoves it through the pipe, then thinks about what might happen if he shoots the man inside the pipe. Stewart tells Randy that if he doesn't help push him out of the tunnel, they will both drown. Stewart also promises to show Randy how to get out of the house. Although Randy does push against the man, he cannot push him free. Randy realizes that if the water continues to rise, the man will drown and Randy will not have to do the killing himself.

In Chapter 17, Leslie begs Pete to stop throwing darts at her. She finds herself almost reaching out to Pete as he touches her skin when she asks him to remove the darts. When she dry heaves, however, he goes to the dresser and comes back with a rope. He asks her if she wants more pudding.

Meanwhile, Randy feels certain that Stewart has drowned. He tries to find the pipe so he can dig Stewart's body out, but realizes the water is draining from the room. Randy looks through the pipe and sees Stewart's body lying in the other room. Randy nudges Stewart's body with his foot to make sure he is dead. He is surprised to see a tendril of black smoke coming from the man's mouth. Randy gets the remainder of the shotgun cartridges from Stewart's pockets. He hears a voice reminding him he needs one dead body. When he looks back at Stewart, the body is gone. The strange disembodied voice tells Randy that Stewart didn't count as the one body.

Chapters 15 - 17 Analysis

In this section, Randy continues to connect Stewart with his father. Although it seems strange to him because the man has a shotgun, Stewart is taking off his belt as he heads toward Randy. This action is done, though, because it reminds Randy of his father. The action of taking off the belt brings to Randy's mind the fear that he felt for his own father. Randy connects this same fear to Stewart. When Randy has the opportunity to hit Stewart with the spade and then let Stewart drown, he feels as if he is doing these things to his own father. In his mind, Randy is finally getting the revenge that he has always wanted on his father for bullying him when he was only a small child. Randy feels proud of his kill when he realizes Stewart is really dead. Randy believes by killing Stewart, he has finally faced his fear of his father and returned triumphant. In reality, all Randy did was allow Stewart to drown.

In these chapters, Leslie finally gives into Pete and tells him that she will do his wishes if he will stop throwing darts at her. Even with all of her psychological training, Leslie feels herself wanting to reach out to this man who has kidnapped her and abused her. She realizes she is no better than anyone else who suffers with an addiction, whether it be sexual or physical. One of Leslie's thoughts about her situation is allegorical to the situation in which she finds herself. She believes her life is no different from others who live in whitewashed houses for their neighbors to see while they hide their problems in their basements. This can be seen both literally as the beautiful looking house that Leslie believed she and her friend were going to stay in. This house, however, turned into a nightmare of troubles one they got inside. The basement is even worse with its maze of rooms and sickening stench. Similarly, people often live their lives in public so that they appear to others that they have no problems. Inside, however, they are a maze of troubles, stench, evil, lies and addictions. It is interesting that Leslie notes, at the same time that she thinks about keeping Pete from hurting her further by endearing herself to him, that she can no longer smell the stench of the basement because she has grown accustomed to it. In much the same way, people become so accustomed to their sins that they no longer realizes just how bad these sins are.

This section contains 893 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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