March 29, 2012
On Page 75 and 76 both Zampano and Johnny Truant talk about the animals exiting the House because, the now growing room seems to reject them in some way. I was really astonished by this revelation and thought it was an interesting dimension in the book. Quickly I was assured it was interesting, and then both Zampano and Truant move on without so much as a guess into the reason why the house would not allow the animals inside the new room.
I find myself thinking that this passage could mean a lot of things. First of all, it was when I really started to think of the House as a living, and thinking thing. It obviously can reject or allow anyone into its secrets as it deems them fit. So if this isn’t frightening enough, I have a sneaking suspicion, that if the house can transport the animals into the backyard, that it can do other types of transportation as well. I have no idea what the long-term implications may be but it seems that aside from being just an interesting test of physics in the immediate sense it may be able to push the bounds of time and space to warp physics in a more radical way.
In another vein I think the book could be making some kind of comment on the way people perceive things versus the way a simpler creature may perceive things. The children do not at all seemed perturbed by the fact that their house is growing (at least not yet) at one point Zampano makes a cryptic comment about the kids ambivalence and how it would be there downfall but it is hard to see what will come of that just yet, so for now I can only interpret there lack of agitation as a lack of reaction and a similar way the animals seem unaffected. Clearly, though the children can enter the rooms and hallways and this separates them from Mallory and Hillary. This is obviously an incomplete assessment of the situation and I plan to note how this continues to affect the story.
As far as what this passage does for the novel as a whole; I think it is designed to frustrate the reader and bring attention to the issue at hand. Both Zampano and Truant’s exposition in the footnotes helps the reader riddle through some of the major plot issues but this deliberate lack of explanation is what makes it stand out most. I could not stop thinking about why these animals weren’t allowed into the room, I wanted an explanation and therefore tried to riddle one out for myself. This also made me much more aware of the animals than I had been previously. I paid much more attention to the domesticated critters than I normally would a house-pet.