The cornfields surrounding Osborne symbolize Makani’s inner growth. Over time, Makani realizes that inner work and meaningful connections with others are the only factors that dictate a person’s ability to grow and change. As Makani learns this vital lesson, her formerly negative associations with Osborne and its surrounding cornfields become more positive. Osborne is a small Nebraska farming town that “smell[s] like diesel, taste[s] like despair, and [is] surrounded by an ocean of corn.” Makani sees the stress of the legal trouble and social ostracization she faced for assaulting a friend during a cruel hazing ritual as the real reason her parents sent her to live with Grandma Young in Nebraska. At first, Makani hates Osborne’s cornfields because she sees Osborne as punishment for her poor behavior in Hawaii. Osborne's cornfields—so different from the Hawaiian beaches she left behind—are a constant visual reminder that she must suffer the consequences of her past actions.
Over time, though, Makani learns that her exile from Hawaii to Osborne neither exacerbates her shame nor gives her an automatic fresh start. Ultimately, it’s up to Makani to create new, meaningful connections with others and undertake the inner work required to move beyond her past and become the person she wants to be. As Makani learns to forgive herself, her attitude toward Osborne and its cornfields changes, too. For instance, when Ollie drives Makani to the middle of a remote cornfield and invites her to gaze at the endless “ocean” of corn that surrounds them, Makani suddenly sees the corn as “sublime” rather than suffocating. Makani’s new relationship with Ollie helps her to heal and reclaim the self-worth she lost when her old friends abandoned her. Though Makani once associated Osborne with misery and shame, opening up to Ollie allows her new life in Osborne—and its surrounding cornfields—to be a restorative and positive experience.
Corn Quotes in There’s Someone Inside Your House
The dry tassels reached for the open sky while the dead silks pointed down to the muddy earth. Slowly, ever so slowly, the wind strengthened and changed course, and the fields swayed as a single element, rippling outward in a current of mesmerizing waves. Something hidden inside Makani lifted its head and blossomed. The sensation was sublime. Makani often complained that she was drowning in corn, but she wasn’t gasping below the water. She was perched on the edge of the horizon.
David didn’t know her, but Makani knew herself. And neither of them was a monster. She was a human who had made a terrible mistake. He was a human who had planned his terrible actions.
Running away from home didn’t change the fact that a person still had to live with themselves. Makani had learned this, though perhaps her mother never had. Change came from within, over a long period of time, and with a lot of help from people who loved you. Osborne wasn’t David’s problem. For Makani, Osborne had even been restorative. Being a psychopath was David’s problem. David was David’s problem.