John Grisham's A Painted House Essay

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John Grisham's A Painted House John Grisham’s book, ‘A Painted House’ places the reader within the walls of a simple home on the cotton fields of rural Arkansas. Within the first few pages, the author’s description of the setting quickly paints a picture of a hard working family and creates a shared concern with the reader about the family’s struggle to meet the basic needs of life. The description of the dusty roads, the unpainted board-sided house, the daily chore requirements and their lack of excess cause the reader a reaction of empathy for the family. Although the story takes place in a dusty setting very unfamiliar to most readers, the storyline is timeless and universal. Most everyone has a desire to meet the basic…show more content…
As one might expect from the title, one continued part of the story concerns the lack of paint on the home. Trot, in spite of his lack of physical strength and intelligence, decides to paint the house. His sister Tally buys him some paint, and Trot begins painting the house on a side not normally visible during daily activities. At first, it seems a mystery on who is painting the house and for what reason. It’s very obvious later in the book what the author was conveying with this exercise. The unpainted house is certainly a metaphor when studying these folk as they interact with one another. One has to set his goals and work very hard and persistently in order to complete the task...just as in life. Mr. Grisham takes the reader into the cotton fields with the snakes, the almost-unbearable heat, and the empty sacks that must be filled. Too much time spent in one area of a cotton row and there is wasted time. Not enough time spent in each area of the cotton row, and there is wasted cotton. The bags have to be filled in order for anyone to get paid. Luke is out there everyday with the adults - dragging his sack behind him while doing his best to keep up with the others. The work is hard and the days are long. However, in this book’s setting, it seems natural and expected for everyone to share the load. Although one’s initial reaction may be that Luke is too young, the point has to be stressed:

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