Housekeeping Summary

1441 Words 6 Pages
Plot- Housekeeping is purely based on the lives of two sisters living within an isolated town. The protagonist Ruthie and her younger sister, Lucille, must endure various scenarios throughout their life. Their grandfather, Edmund, who works in the railroad industry is killed in a tragic accident as the locomotive slips off the tracks. Searchers are unable to find any remnants of human life. While their father deserts Ruthie and Lucille, their mother takes care of them. However, their neighbor Bernice watches over the children as Helen works. Unfortunately, Helen decides to drive off a cliff, into the lake, committing suicide in the process. Therefore, their grandmother cares for them until her death. Once their grandmother passes …show more content…
Lucille loves the lake as it takes her away from Sylvie’s awkward customs. One night, Lucille turns on the light at dinner to find out that they are not eating out of china at all, but instead plates from detergent boxes and jelly glasses. The house is in state of entropy and Lucille wonders whether Sylvie’s husband is merely a fantasy. Lucille grows livid as Sylvie sleeps with her feet on pillows, converses with odd people, and sleeps on benches within town. Ruthie continues to worry about her timid nature in which she feels …show more content…
Ruth dreams about her mother and Sylvie provides them with tea when they return. They begin to see similarities between Helen and Sylvie’s hands-free care of them. Lucille has an idea in which she wants to reinvent herself. She begins wearing sophisticated clothing and befriends two girls at the drugstore where she purchases gel and nail polish. Ruth does not feel comfortable so she heads back home. Lucille returns with a skirt and small jacket and asks Ruthie to help her construct it. However, Ruthie becomes distracted and they argue over keeping their grandfather’s pressed flowers. Lucille grows livid and shuns Ruthie for a long period of time after the quarrel. Lucille spends the following days working on the dress and finally talks to Ruthie about the matter. She continues to state that she wishes to leave the house and as she tries to improve herself, she reads many books. She begins writing a diary about her self improvements. On the first day of the new school year, the principal, Mr. French, talks to the students about their truancy the previous year. Lucille says she is determined to change her attitude while Ruthie cannot speak her mind. However, Ruthie does indeed enjoy school as the year goes on and the principal notices this change. Often at dinner, Lucille is not present so Sylvie no longer tells stories to Ruthie. When Lucille goes to a dance, Sylvie tells Ruthie

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