November 30, 2011

The Hannas’ house was a hundred-year-old Tudor. . . . Inside, everything was tasteful and half falling apart. The Oriental carpets had stains. The brick-red kitchen linoleum was thirty years old. When Mitchell used the powder room, he saw that the toilet paper dispenser had been repaired with Scotch tape. So had the peeling wallpaper in the hallway. (74)


When people think of maniacs, they tend to think of disheveled individuals who can’t help but appear to be falling to pieces.  Here, the house is a literal representation of that.  The only thing holding together the house is Scotch tape.  A clear, thin, piece of plastic with somewhat effective adhesive is all that holds a toilet paper dispenser and wallpaper together.  Things such as clothing, or fronts that the characters put up are their version of scotch tape: it does an okay job of holding it together for a while, but eventually it will wear off as the mania continues to set in and eat away at the adhesive.  There is no way that they can last, and will crumble like the house, dispenser and wallpaper that hides the ugly sheetrock or concrete underneath.

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