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To set our house in order

By balraj, jessica, and julia

Balraj Singh

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of To set our house in order

To Set Our House In Order
Point of View
The short story "to set our house in order" is told from a first person, past tense point of view. We know this because the main character uses words such as "I, my father, and I wailed." The reason the story takes place in the first person is because a large portion of the story takes place in Vanessa's head. If the story was in third person, the audience would not be able to understand how Vanessa feels about the whole situation.
Place: Manawaka, Manitoba
Time: During the Great Depression in Canada (1929-1939)
Season: Summer ("During the summer holidays.")

Vanessa is living with her grandmother MacLeod in her dark red bricked house due to the fact the Depression got bad and grandmother couldn't afford to keep house keeper
The mood at the beginning of the story was very serious because the story started with Vanessa's mom (Beth) going into labour 2 weeks before her expected time. While at home Vanessa is feeling like she's an outsider because she thinks her parents are not satisfied with just her as a daughter.


Another Example of person vs person
Vanessa is going against her parents
Vanessa believes her parents are dissatisfied with her because they are having another child
Poem Relevant to the Short Story
Vanessa a ten year old child,
Who was curious, clumsy and wild,
Tried to enjoy her final days of summer,
But her grandmother was such a bummer.

She was worried about her mother
Because she was expecting a baby brother.
Two weeks before the delivery day
Her mother went to the hospital where she stayed.

Vanessa pondered her families mysteries,
And discovered about her ancestry.
She realized her grandmother was not so mean,
All she wanted, was to be a queen.

Her baby brother was born with no disorder,
And Vanessa realized that everything in life isn't meant to be in order

To set our house in order
Initiating incident :
Vanessa's mother's (Beth) water broke two weeks early
During the Great Depression in Canada (1929-1939)
During the summer holidays
Grandmother MacLeod's house in Manawaka, Manitoba
Vanessa feels like she's not good enough for her parents
Vanessa arguing with her grandmother
Grandmother MacLeod
Past experiences where Vanessa's mother lost her baby girl due to the umbilical cord around her neck
Grandmother's attitude creates tension in the house
Vanessa gradually gets annoyed because of having to put up with her grandma
Vanessa's mother Beth was taken to the hospital
Grandmother MacLeod wanted a house keeper to take care of everything
Vanessa's father, Ewen doesn't think a house keeper is practical due to the financial issues because of the Great Depression
Ewen calls Edna (Beth's sister) to help maintain the house
Vanessa gets more anxious to know the well being of her mother
Grandmother explains to Vanessa the history of their ancestry and begins to tell how she felt after she lost her husband (Grandfather MacLeod ) and her son Roderick
Caesarean since the baby was not in the
correct position
Vanessa's mother Beth had a
10. Ewen explains how Vanessa's grandfather and grandmother Macleod earned a living and lived a lavish lfie and realizes why her grandmother behaves in a certain way
The theme of the story is that things are not always what they seem. The theme is this because Vanessa does not like her grandmother since she thinks that she is strict and mean. However, Vanessa later finds out that her grandmother is the way she is because of the death of her son Roderick and the death of her husband.
Another theme is that life takes many turns. This is a theme because the grandmother tries to control everyone's life and make everything "in order." Another example is that Vanessa does not want a younger sibling, but she still ends up with a baby brother. No matter how hard either of them tried, life still took control.
Vanessa accepts that her brother was born and understands her grandmother better
Main Character analysis

Short hair
Average height
10 year old girl

Personality Traits:
Physical appearance
Very curious, always has a ton of questions
Has a negative attitude towards grandmother Macleod
Can be quite careless and clumsy sometimes
Loving and caring towards parents
Overall a lonely kid (has no friends to hang out with)
Daughter of Beth and Ewen. Who is a dynamic character because throughout the story she starts learning more about her family's past, which changes Vanessa to become a more respectful person towards others.
Grandmother Macleod:
Vanessa's grandmother
Acts as if she has power over everyone
A Static character - because she starts with a negative attitude and ends with a negative one
Secondary characters
Vanessa's father
He is a very caring father and husband
He is a static character Ex. he starts off as a loving parent and husband, who worries about his grandmother and in the end he is still the same person.
The next point where the mood changes to more of a glum atmosphere is when the story goes back to telling us about Vanessa's daily life. For example, Vanessa learns about how her grandmother and grandfather MacLeod lived a lavish life style in the past, but once her grandfather passed away, her grandmother felt lost.
The last part of the story that changed the mood from a gloomy atmosphere to a calm one, was when Vanessa's baby brother was finally born alive! This changes the mood because it takes away the suspense from the beginning, but creates more tension naming the baby Roderick. For example, her mother Beth had a conversation with Edna about Roderick's death.

Overall, the story's mood is full of tension and suspense.
Grandmother MacLeod suggested to name the baby boy Rodrick; in memory of her late son
Beth and Edna have a conversation about Rodrick's death and how Ewen feels guilty
Ewen agreed in naming there newborn son Rodrick
Vanessa realizes that everything in life is not in order/not always planned the way you want it to be.
Thanks for listening
List of events
Vanessa and her family move into her grandmother's house when the Great Depression got bad
Beth's water breaks two weeks early and has to go to the hospital
Vanessa has a tough time living with her grandmother Macleod
Grandmother Macleod tells Vanessa about her ancesrtry
Vanessa's baby brother was born healthy
Tension builds up about naming the baby Roderick
Vanessa learns that life is not always in order
Person vs Person
Vanessa is going against her grandmother MacLeod in this case
Vanessa doesn't seem to understand her grandmothers attitude towards her because she is unaware of what happened to her
Vanessa feels her grandmother is mean to her and doesn't allow her to run around the house since she thinks shes foolish and may break something
Full transcript