House - Chapters 36-38 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 812 words
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Chapters 36-38 Summary

In Chapter 36, Jack goes for the knife as Randy dives for the crowbar. Jack asks Stephanie to help with the knife because he is unable to pull it from the wood. Stephanie moves to help him and with their hands on the knife, Jack feels as if the hatred they have had toward each other to this point has been petty. Even together, they are unable to pull the knife free. Randy has the crowbar and is ready to swing when Jack pulls the tape from Susan's mouth. He asks Randy to wait and hear Susan out. Susan tells them that even if she is killed, at least some of them will still have to die. She also tells them that she knows the way out of the predicament. Randy won't listen and threatens to swing so Jack and Stephanie attack him. While he is stunned, Susan leads Jack, Stephanie and Leslie from the room. The upstairs room leads directly into the basement.

In Chapter 37, Randy regains consciousness and realizes the others have left. Leslie, however, has stopped in the middle of the stairs. He has the urge to kill her. He is able to pull the knife easily out of the wall and believes this is a sign that the house is working for him. Leslie, meanwhile, realizes she is facing her own sin. She realizes that in many ways, she is Pete. Jack and Stephanie continue to follow Susan through the fog in the basement to the room with the four sofas. When Susan asks them if they see now, Jack realizes the paintings are representations of himself. Stephanie, meanwhile, sees herself. Jack finally realizes the house is drawing its power from the evil in their own hearts. Susan tries to lead them to the back exit but the door is blocked by Betty, Stewart and Pete along with masked apparitions that appear to Jack as Jack and Stephanie as Stephanie.

In Chapter 38, Randy starts down the stairs behind Leslie. He calls her name. She runs away from him into the fog. Randy feels waves of fear. At the bottom of the stairs stands six Stewarts. The Tin Man stands at the top of the stairs. He is holding a shotgun in both hands. He orders Randy to kill her as Stewart pushes Leslie out of a door into the hallway. When she sees Randy, she asks what is happening. He lifts the knife up and stabs Leslie in the chest. The Stewarts leave. Randy feels like he is finally home.

Chapters 36-38 Analysis

It is in this section of chapters that Leslie, Jack and Stephanie begin to grasp the idea of what they are going through. Leslie realizes just before Randy kills her that the house is a representation of her own sins and evil thoughts. She realizes that in a way, she is Pete, and thinks only of owning and manipulating men through the sexual relationship that she can have with them.

Jack and Stephanie, on the other hand, don't seem to catch on to this truth until Susan leads them back into the living room of the basement and Jack realizes that all of the paintings on the wall are of himself. Stephanie, meanwhile, sees pictures of herself. When Jack watches a twin of himself come into the room and forcefully destroy a picture of Stephanie, he realizes how much anger toward her that he has kept bottled up inside. He describes the things that he goes through in the house as an intensified and shortened image of the day-to-day struggles of life.

Jack and Leslie do come to realize that the reason they could not see themselves in the mirrors in the basement was because they weren't really able to see the truth about themselves at all. The truth was actually hidden from them, as their own image was hidden from them in the mirrors.

Throughout the entire novel, Randy is the only one who has really not even attempted to face his own shortcomings or really determine the meaning of the game that Tin Man has engaged them in. He takes the Tin Man's rules at face value and really believes that if one of them will kill another, the remainder of the players will be set free. He does not see that the abuse he suffered as a child has made him abusive toward others whom he meets. He believes he has reached a milestone in his life when he is able to allow Stewart, who represents his father, to be killed in the drainpipe. This action, however, only seems to make Randy more aggressive. He is ready to do anything that will save his life and at several points in the novel considers giving into the Tin Man's demands instead of remaining loyal to his friends.

This section contains 812 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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