House - Chapters 18 - 20 Summary & Analysis

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Chapters 18 - 20 Summary

In Chapter 18, Susan takes Jack to a door that she says leads to a closet in Pete's room. Through cracks in the wall he sees Pete. Leslie is tied to the bed. Pete is trying to force Leslie to eat something. Jack is shaking with revulsion.

In Chapter 19, Stephanie hears Jack calling for her, and then leaving. The idea that he is leaving again angers her. She feels a snake slither up her leg. In a quick decision that she doesn't even understand, Stephanie leaves the closet, unlocks the basement door and marches down the stairs. Her momentary courage flees when the basement door slams behind her and she hears the deadbolt slide into place.

In Chapter 20, Jack tries to pull a cricket bat free from the closet to use as a weapon and pulls something else loose also. The noise catches Pete's attention but Jack is able to hit Pete before he can react. He frees Leslie and continues to beat Pete off with the bat. Leslie begs Jack to kill the man but Jack looks for some way to disable Pete. Suddenly, the door opens and Betty, armed with a shotgun, stands in the doorway. Just as Jack believes that Betty is going to kill both him and Leslie, Susan steps forward out of the closet. This distraction gives Jack and Leslie a chance to get away.

Chapters 18 - 20 Analysis

Notice in these chapters that Jack develops a habit of ignoring Susan while she is talking. Notice also that Susan says that she has been hiding in the basement for three days. For those familiar with the Christian story of salvation, Jesus spent three days in the tomb after his crucifixion.

As Jack talks to Susan about her time in the basement, the saying, "A child shall lead them" comes to his mind. He believes he might have heard it in one of Stephanie's songs but it is actually a verse from the Christian Bible. As Jack gets to know Susan, her innocence reminds him of his daughter Melissa. He vows to himself that he will save Susan even though he was not able to save his own daughter. Strangely though, it is Susan who saves Leslie and Jack as she distracts Betty just as she is about to use her shotgun on the two.

This section contains 394 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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