A painted House by John Grisham
In his novel A Painted House, John Grisham tells the story of the events of one summer as viewed and interpreted by a young boy, Luke Chandler. The book presents a view of how a group of people interact together: a cotton-growing share-cropping family, the transient workers they hire to help them pick the cotton, and their neighbors. The story delineates the social status and interactions between the various groups: share croppers, "mountain folk" who come down to help with the picking, and itinerant migrant workers from Mexico. In the process, Luke learns to look past surface assumptions about people. This is reflected by the emphasis on the surface appearance of his family's house -- whether it is painted r bare wood. In the view of the people who inhabit Grisham's story, a painted house is superior to an unpainted one, and reflects increased status, because a painted house can only be afforded by those who could spend extra money on paint instead of necessities. Luke's grandfather believes that painting one's house is a sign of vanity and a waste of good money, while John's mother has always dreamed of living in a painted house again some day. The reality is somewhere in between: with or without pai
His parents and grandparents still do not know who is paintingthe house. Hismother had grown up in a painted house, "almost a town girl. Luke Chandler has a passion for baseball, and dreams one day ofplaying professional baseball for the St. Seven-year-old Luke has discovered moralambiguity. Luke realizes that if they found out, they would make them stoppainting. He has witnessed a murder, but isscared of Hank and worries about what Hank wlll do to them if Luke speaksup. Hank picks up a piece of wood and kills thesharecropper with it. In Luke's strict upbringing, he does not lie, but he will have to thistime. The story is told through the eyes, mind and vocabulary of a seven-year-old, filtered by the adult he has become, but Luke never tells usdirectly why it is so important to him that the house be painted that he iswilling to risk eternal damnation. Luke is forced to consider what makes people who they are beyond theirsurface social status because of a series of events that happens thatsummer. Luke's brother is not perfect, and he has committed what Lukeknows to be a terrible sin. The first is a brutal fight he witnesses while visiting town. Luke says, "Isat alone in the bleachers and watched the Methodists score three more inthe eighth. 308-309) In this book,everyone is classified by one trait. In reality, the differences between Hank'sand Luke's family are artificial, as both are quite poor.
Some topics in this essay:
Civil War, Luke Chandler, Mexican Luke, Baptist Luke, Tally Trots, Tally Trot, Louis Cardinals, Tally Luke, Tally Hanks, Tally Tally, painted house, luke learns, beyond surface, social status, lukes family, pick cotton, view people, surface appearance, tally luke, ricky girl,
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