Changing Feelings Towards Peter and Andrea in Once in a House on Fire
'Once in a house on fire' by Andrea Ashworth
At the beginning of the Novel, A freak accident robbed Andrea of a
loving father at the age of five. Her mother Lorraine, widowed at just
twenty-five years old, was distraught, not least because she was left
alone to raise Andrea and her younger sister Lauren ( also known as
Laurie). By the time Andrea was six, she had a new 'father'.
When the reader first meets Peter, it is difficult to contrive a clear
opinion of him. He seems to show that he wants to be the children's
"new daddy" by "lugging home bulging sacks of misshapen Mojos for my
sister and I" He also appears to have a good relationship with his
wife but we soon realise this is not so. A Jekyll and Hyde character,
he swings between loving husband and father and violent, terrifying
bully. Andrea would watch as her "mother smiled through his kissing
compliments" but these soon turned into "vicious shouting matches
which half the street could hear." The reader immediately feels anger
towards Peter for his unjustifiable behaviour towards his family. But
if you look at the quote, it is clear that it is a "match" which
generally consists of two people or groups competing for supremacy.
This shows that although Peter started the shouting, Andreas mother
also played a part. This makes the reader feel annoyed. This is
because although we feel that she should defend herself, she is
contributing to the argument and therefore making it worse.
Another incident showing how Lorraine contributed to an argument is
when Peter comes home she has "got the kids cooking behind his back."
and he is angry because he feels "she is lazing on her arse.
. middle of paper.
. What Peter has done is completely unexpected and brings out
the Jekyll and Hyde element of his character. But for once, what he
has done is neither loving nor hating. This reaction completely
perplexes the reader.
What this shows is that even though Peter is everything the reader
thought in the first place, he is not as predictable and does not fit
the stereotype. However this does not make the reader begin to like
him but pity him even more. What is eventually clear is that although
we do not think he intended it, Peter subconsciously started to, if
not completely break the cycle he himself started. This is where the
feelings of the reader can be divided. On one hand It could said this
was just chance and it was Andrea who eventually broke the cycle or,
it could also be said that they both played equal parts and eventually
even Peter had, had enough.
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Below is an essay on "Stuart a Life Backwards Comparision with Once in a House on Fire" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
Discuss the presentation of Stuart’s character in chapters 1-5 go on to also compare Andrea’s character to Stuart’s
Stuart’s character is portrayed in the biography as an intelligent individual. Stuart wanted to make the book different so people would actually read it so his concept was to, ‘write it backwards’, this shows imagination and a clever way of thinking. Stuart’s specialised knowledge of the legal system and the institutions within them made Stuart very valuable for the release of the outreach workers. He pointed out inmates have ‘two boxes. One in possession and one in reception’ when someone suggested sending Ruth and John lots of books to keep them occupied, eventually they came up with the right strategy for their campaign with the help of Stuart’s knowledge of the prison system. In certain areas that played a big part of Stuart’s life also shows Stuart’s intelligence as he ‘reels off the names of his medication like a classics scholar’. He can retain the complicated names of his medicine without a problem, ‘Zopliclye what calms you’, and ‘Melarill and Amitriptyline’ which makes him look like he has experience in the medical profession. Intelligence is a key characteristic of Andrea in Once in a House on Fire. She left high school with brilliant grades in her O levels; to be precise ‘Six As, two Bs and a C’ this shows her academic achievements. In addition, her intelligence is recognised by Oxford University as she gets accepted a place which is revealed when her mother says ‘You’re in!’
Stuart’s child-like character manner is apparent throughout the whole story. The regular use of the conjunction ‘and’ is an example of Stuart’s child-like speech, ‘Linda and John and Ruth and Wynn’. Just like a child would process things they see on movies to be the same in reality Stuart describes an office with a ‘Good-looking bird’. This is the stereotypical view of a receptionist portrayed in films, just like a child would not know how the workforce works.
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