This old house- the heart is a lonely place menagerie by David Sedaris is a subgenre unique in that it takes place exclusively in the human setting. It resembles a genre that relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot. It is unlike its parent genre in that it uses these tools not solely for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the personalities involved. The style employs the use of macabre and ironic events to examine the virtues of the relevant victims.
The character mentioned above lives a hard and he's tough, except that he is dissatisfied with the place of residence. He describes it as beautiful though inelegant. He portrays a picture of both dislike and some of fascination which is rather ironical to the reader. He portrays the buffet, like the table as an exercise in elegant simplicity. The set, he says, was made of teak, and had been finished with tung oil. This brings out the character of the wood, allowing it, at certain times of day, to practically glow. Nothing was more beautiful than our dining room, especially after my father covered the walls with cork. It wasn’t the kind you use on bulletin boards but something coarse and dark, the color of damp pine mulch. Light the candles beneath the chafing dish lay the table with the charcoal-textured dinnerware we hardly ever used, and you had yourself a real picture.
In his imagination, the author brings out the character as deeply embedded in his world and that even though he likes it, he seeks a deeper satisfaction of the outside world by wanting to explore it. For instance the character is too ambitious that he walks out of his parent’s house and seeks a job elsewhere. He writes that he longed for a home where history was respected and that four years later he had finally found one. This was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he had gone to visit an old friend from high school. It was because he was between jobs and had no real obligations, he decided to stay for a while and maybe look for some dishwashing work. The restaurant that hired him was a local institution, all dark wood and windowpanes the size of playing cards. The food was alright but what the place was really known for was the classical music that the man in charge, someone named Byron, pumped into the dining room. Anyone else might have thrown in a compilation tape, but he took his responsibilities very seriously, and planned each meal as if it were an evening at Tanglewood.
The author writes that the victim hoped that dishwashing might lead to a job in the dining room, busing tables, and, eventually, waiting on them, but he kept these aspirations to himself. Dressed as he was, in jodhpurs and a smoking jacket, he should have been grateful that he was hired at all. The character whose recollections master the play acts within those recollections. The author underlines the play’s tension between objectively presented dramatic truth and memory’s distortion of truth.
The author provides some direct soliloquy of the main character and he to some extend addresses the audience directly thereby seeking to provide a more detached explanation and assessment of what has been happening behind the scenes. But at the same time, he demonstrates real and sometimes juvenile emotions as he takes part in the play’s action. This duality can frustrate our understanding of the main character as it is hard to decide whether he is a character whose assessments should be trusted or one who allows his emotions to affect his judgment. It also shows how the nature of recollection is itself problematic: memory often involves confronting a past in which one was less virtuous than one is now.
The story as narrated shows that the characters are dictated by the environment in which they live. Clearly, the writer portrays the character as dissatisfied with his surroundings. He writes that like anyone nostalgic for a time he didn’t live through. He chose to weed out the little inconveniences: polio, say, or the thought of eating stewed squirrel. The world was simply grander back then, somehow more civilized, and nicer to look at. Wasn’t it crushing to live in a house no older than their cat? His father had of course been negative on the issue. The mother felt the same concerning the environment. The writer states that she was boxed in by neighbors, having to walk through the parents’ bedroom in order to reach the kitchen. They were more than willing to leave their pasts behind them, and reacted strongly when the sister Gretchen and the narrator began dragging it home.
The narrator hates working at home as it leaves him having no experience in the outside world which he desperately yearns to explore. He is also passionate about his sister who typically supports him in his endeavors. His passion is depicted at his wounded feelings when the sister fails to sympathize with him in his sorrows. At one time he thinks that Rosemary would be sympathetic, but she was sick to death of mental illness, just as she was sick of old people, and of having to take in boarders to make ends meet. “If he was screwy you should have told me before he moved in,” she said to Chaz’s father. “I can’t have people like that running through my house.
This shows that the sister is not as sympathetic as he would have thought. The sister is clearly unhappy with the fact that he accommodates people without her knowledge. What with these antiques, it’s just not safe.” The man’s eyes wandered around the parlor, and through them I saw what he did: a dirty room full of junk. It had never been anything more than that, but for some reason the heat, maybe, or the couple’s heavy, almost contagious sense of despair, every gouge and smudge jumped violently into focus. More depressing still was the thought that I belonged here, that I fit in.
The writer also shows the calculating nature of the people in the story. It is ironical that Rosemary is portrayed to be having a mental sickness and yet is able to make decision, and such major decisions as ones that involve land purchases and sale. For years, the university had been trying to buy Rosemary’s property. Representatives would come to the door, and her accounts of these meetings seemed torn from a late-night movie. In the end the narrator had to make it clear to them that it was his home and not just a business zone. It is stated that they wanted the land only. With every passing semester, it became more valuable, and she was smart to hold out for as long as she did. I don’t know what their final offer was, but Rosemary accepted it. She signed the papers with a vintage fountain pen, and was still holding it when she came to give me the news.
This was in August, and the narrator was lying on my floor, making a sweat angel. A part of him was sad that the house was being sold, but another, bigger part, the part that loved air-conditioning was more than ready to move on. It was pretty clear that as far as the restaurant was concerned he was never going to advance beyond dishwashing. Then, too, it was hard to live in a college town and not go to college. The students he saw out of his window were a constant reminder that he was just spinning his own wheels, and that he was beginning to imagine how he would feel in another ten years, when they started looking like kids to him..