On Life & Creation

“What is a life lived but an array of objects, gathered or else made into being…What else to make a biography of, if not the contents of these rooms?”  (52)

From what I can make of it so far, In the House seems to be a novel interested in the idea of creation. As with anything, creations are either an individual or collaborative effort, and in many cases thus far, it seems that the majority of collaborative efforts made have failed. Often, when discussing marriage, we use the phrase “start a life together”, and this is what the narrator and his wife most desire. This quote stuck out to me because the “biography” to which his wife refers has a sort of dual implication; the life, or “foundling” can be said to belong to both of them, as they are each his parents, but a life in and of itself, perceived in the moment or wholly imagined, can only belong to the individual living the life, while all others can only make conjectures about what exactly makes up another’s experience. The wife simply wants to make her husband understand that life, while not inhabiting objects directly, exists in one’s relationship to those objects. It does not matter to her whether or not their son is a product of their love or of her own solitary creation – in either case, he is meant to fulfill the same role, allowing them in turn to realize and play out their roles as parents just as they’ve always wanted.


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