There’s Someone Inside Your House

by

Stephanie Perkins

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There’s Someone Inside Your House: Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back in the present, Makani finishes telling her story. She describes the immense shame she felt holding Jasmine’s detached ponytail in her hand. She remembers how Jasmine was so drunk that she nearly drowned—and it was all Makani’s fault. She recalls how Jasmine ran to the ocean after Makani cut off her hair. Unable to face what she’d just done, Makani turned her back on Jasmine as Jasmine waded into the water. She didn’t notice when Jasmine started drowning. Jasmine had stopped breathing and needed CPR. By this point, everybody understood what Makani had done. When police arrived on the scene later, they escorted Makani to the station and charged her with public intoxication and third-degree assault.
Makani’s story illustrates the extent to which her internalized guilt and shame warp her sense of reality. She views Jasmine’s drunkenness as sympathetic—as a weakness that Makani exploited to violate Jasmine—but fails to see that she, like Jasmine, was intoxicated and put in a compromised position through no fault of her own. Rather than acknowledging how the cruel, violent atmosphere of the hazing ritual put her in a bad position, she sees her violence toward Jasmine as indicative of some inner character flaw.
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Guilt, Shame, and Redemption  Theme Icon
The police eventually dropped the charges, but Makani’s school suspended her and all her friends stopped talking to her, including her then-boyfriend, Jason, and Jasmine. Makani shudders as she thinks about the death and rape threats she received in the aftermath of the incident. It was hard to feel like people were wrong about her, but it was hard to think that people were right about her, too. Makani turns toward Ollie. He looks sympathetic, not judgmental. Darby and Alex are also understanding. What Makani did to Jasmine was awful, they admit, but she doesn’t deserve to feel ashamed for the rest of her life. She’s not a sociopath like David Ware. She’s a good person who made a mistake. 
Makani’s friends in Hawaii shut her out, thereby making it impossible for them to hear her side of the story. They judge her based on gossip alone; the poor treatment she received from her friends In Hawaii helps explain why Makani is so reticent to gossip about the Osborne slayings—she’s seen the real harm and injustice gossip can bring about and wants no part in making others suffer the way she did. Finally, Makani’s current friends’ sympathetic response to her story is an important moment for her character development. That they haven’t judged her the way her old friends did might help Makani learn to forgive herself for her past.
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Guilt, Shame, and Redemption  Theme Icon
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
Inner Change  Theme Icon
Quotes
Makani is convinced that David Ware is targeting her because he found out about the incident. Ollie thinks this is unlikely. He admits to Googling Makani extensively and being unable to find out much about her on the internet. Makani’s friends smirk at Ollie’s admission. For the sake of argument, Ollie considers Makani’s theory about David. If he’s targeting people for being bullies or for having secrets, what were the other victims hiding? Ollie pauses. He admits to knowing something a secret about Rodrigo—he used to be a “troll” who threatened women on the internet. Alex stiffens. Everyone wonders who else could be on David’s list—who else has a secret they’re ashamed of. They decide that Zachary Loup might be a target, since he can be a real jerk. Ollie calls Chris to let him in on their suspicions about Zachary. Chris is skeptical but promises to check on Zachary anyway.
This scene sheds more light on a mystery that has so far eluded everyone in Osborne: why is David Ware killing, and how is he selecting his victims? The detail about Rodrigo being a former internet troll lends some credence to Makani’s theory that David is targeting people with secrets—with past behaviors or current anxieties they’re ashamed of. Each of David’s victims is alike in their desire to appear a certain way in front of their peers, to be accepted, liked, and valued. They all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, just as Makani does. 
Themes
Guilt, Shame, and Redemption  Theme Icon
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
Just then, Ollie gets a text from Greeley’s informing him that his shift has been cancelled—the store is closing early so that everyone can attend the memorial. Alex springs up, suddenly remembering that she needs to meet up with the marching band, which is leading the memorial procession. Darby goes with Alex to make sure she’s safe.
Just as the community in Osborne comes together to mourn and cope with the recent tragedies that have struck their town, so too do individual people try to support and protect each other, as when Darby insists on accompanying Alex to marching band practice to make sure she’s safe.
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
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Makani and Ollie return to Grandma Young’s room. Grandma Young is out having some tests done, so Makani and Ollie go to the cafeteria instead. Makani wants to talk one-on-one with Ollie about her past, but Ollie’s mind is elsewhere. His phone rings again. It’s Chris. Ollie walks off to take the call. When he comes back, he tells Makani that the police can’t do anything with their theory about David, since they don’t want the town to panic. They did have an officer confirm that Zachary is safe at home with his mom’s boyfriend. Makani texts Darby and Alex the news. Darby responds immediately: Zachary can’t be home, since they just saw him at the memorial. Makani tells Darby to wait—she and Ollie will be right over, and they’ll warn Zachary about their theory together.
It's unclear why Ollie is being so distant. One possibility is that Makani’s story about her past may have caused some of Ollie’s personal demons to surface. Local rumors claim that he went through something of a tumultuous time following his parents’ deaths, and perhaps he, like Makani, struggles to reconcile his flawed past self with his present self. Finally, that Makani and her friends combat David’s murderous rampage by banding together and helping others points to the book’s overarching insistence that community and solidarity can be helpful tools for working through trauma and coping with hardship. 
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Guilt, Shame, and Redemption  Theme Icon
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
Inner Change  Theme Icon