“This Old House” by David Sedaris, is a story of a younger adult misunderstood by his own family and most of society who simply just, “longed for a home where history was respected.” After taking a trip to visit an old friend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he decides to stay in the city longer by finding work and a place to live. He finds work as a dishwasher in a restaurant hoping to eventually advance from his current position. After finding work, he then unexpectedly meets his future landlord who also has the same appreciation for the past. After moving in to his new home, a friendship blossoms between the main character and his landlord, even with other tenants’ opinions and ways of lives that have other opinions on how life should be lived.
The theme for the story is how different people interpret their surroundings in various stages of their lives. Some can just only appreciate the newest of the new, while others appreciate how life was before material and technological items were more important. This theme can be seen in different stages of the story from the beginning, with the main character still living at home and observing his mother’s need for compliments on her dining room to his father’s disgust in his son’s appreciation for the harder times in America’s history to the way the son decided to dress. More can be seen later in the story when he meets his landlord and appreciated her love for antiques and anything from decades ago. In conflict, the other tenants seem to reject all aspects of the landlord’s and the narrator’s way of life as it was almost alien to them.
There are an array of characters that all seem to be described and work together to tell the story perfectly. Their personalities were so well described that it made you feel like you were living in their environment yourself. The protagonist of the story is the main character with the entire story mainly focusing around his portray of life, as well as, the way he...
Cited: Sedaris, David. “This Old House.” Literature: The Human Experience. 10th ed. Eds. Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 1332-1339.
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