Asperger's Syndrome In House Rules By Jodi Picoult

Improved Essays
House Rules
Choosing to represent individuals with disabilities in her novel, Jodi Picoult wrote House Rules (2010), whose main character has Asperger's Syndrome. The novel takes place in Townsend, Vermont, and is narrated by five different characters: Jacob, Theo, Emma, Oliver, and Rich. Jacob Hunt is the main character of the novel, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and lives with many of its symptoms, one of which makes him very detail oriented about his passion of solving crimes. Theo Hunt is Jacob’s younger brother, who has a habit of entering other peoples’ homes and subtly stealing items without their knowledge, and Emma Hunt is the single mother of Jacob and Theo and works as a columnist for the town’s newspaper. Oliver Bond is a small-time
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Jacob does not understand sarcasm or puns or idioms. An example of this is seen when Emma is describing a memory of Jacob and says, “Once, when Jacob was ten, we were walking the aisles of a Toys ‘R’ Us in Williston when a little boy jumped out from an endcap wearing a Darth Vader mask and brandishing a light saber. ‘Bang, you’re dead!’ the boy cried, and Jacob believed him. He started shrieking and rocking…” (76). Unable to understand that the little boy was playing, Jacob believed he was actually dead and started to have a breakdown. Another example of this is seen in the courtroom during the trial when the judge interrupts Oliver and Jacob talking to move on with the trial. Oliver responds that they were ready to move on and the judge replies, saying, “I’m tickled pink” (502). Jacob then narrates that although the judge said that, “he doesn’t look tickled or pink” (502). Unable to understand sarcasm, Jacob takes every word very literally, which can make it difficult to communicate and …show more content…
Throughout class, we have learned what we should do and how we should act and handle certain situations, and it was interesting to me to see why we do those things and how it affects the individual with the disability. For example, a teaching strategy for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is to teach them basic social skills like taking turns in conversation, to negotiate, and to be quiet. Other children most likely do not need these extra lessons, but from Jacob’s point of view, it can be seen why. Jacob, who at eighteen years old, still feels no empathy, and he is still very literal in verbal communication, as previously discussed. Though he has gotten much better, he struggled greatly when he was younger and still does even now. It is important to see a situation from every angle and perspective, and reading this novel allowed me to do just

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