Are You in the House Alone? Literary Qualities

Richard Peck
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Richard Peck's literary reputation sometimes suffers because critics identify his works as "problem novels." In Only Connect (see For Further Reference section below), Sheila Egoff contends that adolescent problem novels are too narrow and external because they grow from a specific social problem rather than from a writer's personal vision of the human condition. Egoff delineates the formula followed by problem novels: the protagonist is alienated from, and hostile to, the adult world; an unconventional adult is the only person who understands the protagonist; and the first-person narration features short sentences and paragraphs written in a flat, prosaic, and cliche-ridden style.

At first glance, Peck's novels seem to fit this formula. Are You in the House Alone? resulted from his research on rape and its effects on adolescents. The main character feels alienated from adults, except for the eccentric Madame Malevich, and the story is told...

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This section contains 253 words
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Buy the Are You in the House Alone? Study Guide
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