Life as a House Essay Sample
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Life as a House Essay Sample
Regardless of the type of life a person has lived, whether it is one of luxury or hardship, all people have one thing in common. Each person has had their own conflicts that have left a mark or impression on their lives; much is the same in the film “Life as a House”. In order for one to build their life anew they must resolve those past conflicts, so that there are no lingering feelings from the past to interrupt this new life.
In the film George has many of these past conflicts, those being his father’s mistreatment of himself and those in his family, Georges neglect in his relationship with his son, and his fathers house which reminds him of his old life. And the root cause of all these problems ultimately is George’s father. As George explains to Sam in the film George’s father loved to be in control. His favorite pastime was to belittle George no matter if he had done very well or very poorly. For a child or a teen this can make them feel like no matter their efforts they will still fail.
This kind of treatment changes George, especially when he discovers he has cancer. It helps him to change his ideals; he wishes to fix things with his son. George greatly loved his mother, who was killed in a car accident when George’s father was driving intoxicated, and during that crash his father killed two adults and paralyzed a young girl. George blames the death of his mother and the destruction of the other family on his father and the house reminds him of his family and the accident, so he is trapped in a cycle of remembering.
Once George starts ripping down the house he is released from his father, and as he reconciles his relationship with Sam he pushes what he “inherited” from his father out of his mind, and begins to resolve the conflict caused by his father. When George discovers he is dying he makes a few life choices. First to tear down his father’s house, and rebuild it into something he could pass on with pride. Second to have a relationship with Sam that involved love and respect instead of neglect and hate.
So George takes Sam for the summer, although Sam is not willing and decides he will leave on multiple occasions there are always things that keep him home with his father. At first Sam would not listen to George and over time he is forced to begin working with George, and they get to have actual conversations, Sam learns about George’s father and the car accident and all the problems George had to deal with growing up, also why he was rebuilding the house. And in time Sam changed, there was love between father and son.
And by the end when George was dying Sam was able to let George see his new house from the hospital and he promised to finish it. In making a relationship with Sam, George was able to do what his father wouldn’t or couldn’t do, and that was to bring love between them. And so he ended that part of the conflict in his mind. The foremost and central conflict in the movie was his father’s old house. A misfit in the neighborhood and in horrible disrepair the house was a great burden on Georges mind.
The old house itself was a constant reminder of his father along with the pain and frustration George had to deal with growing up. It was like a prison that he had to come home to everyday, like a life long punishment his father had unknowingly left behind. So when George lost his job and discovered he had about four to five months to live he began to remove the blemish from himself. He completely tore down his father’s house, with the help of Sam. He laid the foundations for a new house at the same time he was laying the “foundations” of his relationship with Sam.
As the house grew in size and complexity so did Sam and George’s relationship, they came upon problems but were able to overcome them. The house was finished shortly after George died, but the new life was built. Sam had realized who he was and Robin, Sam’s mother, also had a relationship once again with her son. It was Sam’s decision of what to do with the house that finally resolved what was left of past conflict. He decided to give the house to the girl who George’s father had paralyzed in the car accident many years before.
In doing this Sam had tied up the last loose end that remained of the conflict left behind by George and his father. Through the building of the new house and the reconciling of relationships it was possible for George as well as Sam to build themselves a new life, because they were able to come to terms with the conflicts of the past. And without the past conflicts still plaguing them they can move on to bigger things, as well as learn from the experiences they have gained.
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