House of Tomorrow

Topics: Life, Novel, The Reader Pages: 4 (1281 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Shaimaa Said
Mr. Terrell
Contemporary Fiction
January 21st 2013
How Helping Helps Humans: The Whitcombs’ Journey to Self-Improvement In every person’s life it is natural to want to aid people in their problems. People like the idea that they make a positive imprint in a person’s life especially in times of struggle. A theme that reoccurs in multiple works of literature is when people are lost in their direction of life, they turn to assisting others. Even many celebrities will give donations to charity because they feel that their lives have more depth and one good decision leads to another. Peter Bognanni demonstrates this philosophy vicariously through Sebastian, Janice, Jared, and Meredith, who are characters in his novel The House of Tomorrow. As a comparison, Bognanni includes Nana, Sebastian’s grandmother who forces Sebastian to do everything she thinks is correct. Nana is focused on her needs and neglects Sebastian entirely, and as a result she does not grow as person. As Sebastian becomes the center of improving the Whitcomb’s he acquires the same in return. From the beginning the reader gets a sense of how Sebastian is always obedient to his Nana, doing whatever she asks for without question, and as the story progresses it’s clear Sebastian enjoys assisting whoever needs help. In the beginning of the novel, Sebastian’s entire purpose of life was to do whatever Nana asked of him, and he did so blindly because he was taught to believe that he was “to believe he is being groomed to lead a Fullerian social revolution” (Stace). The idea that everyone in world is working for a common goal is an appealing concept. When Sebastian goes to his first youth group meeting he convinces himself that stealing the bass guitar from the church is helping Jared. Sebastian could not take the guitar right away, but he contemplated that he would “use it for good and to make my [his] friend happy again” (Bognanni 116) and that would be something worth risking because...
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