There’s Someone Inside Your House


Stephanie Perkins

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Gossip vs. Communication Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Guilt, Shame, and Redemption  Theme Icon
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
Inner Change  Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in There’s Someone Inside Your House, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon

Osborne, Nebraska, is a small town where word travels fast and nothing stays secret for long. When a mysterious killer starts murdering students at Osborne High, rumors about the killer’s identity spread throughout the school like wildfire. Students wonder who the killer could be. They also wonder what secrets the killer’s victims are hiding that may have caused the killer to target them. While gossiping about the murders feeds students’ morbid curiosities, many of the rumors they spread are farfetched and untrue, and there are negative consequences for the people who gossip as well as for those who are the subjects of their rumors. After Matt Butler’s murder brings the body count to two, Alex and Darby use old rumors about Ollie to convince themselves that Ollie is the so-called Osborne Slayer. They’re also concerned that Ollie is taking advantage of Makani, who didn’t grow up in Osborne and doesn’t know about his supposedly dark past. Makani knows Ollie more intimately than Darby and Alex and refuses to entertain what she considers to be baseless speculation. The disagreement jeopardizes Makani’s friendship with Darby and Alex, though Makani forgives her friends once authorities identify David Ware as the killer, prompting Darby and Alex to realize their mistake. One of the central ideas that There’s Someone Inside Your House explores is how little people know about themselves or about others. Determined to get to the bottom of the Osborne Slayer’s murderous rampage, Osborne High’s students turn to gossip and speculation instead of genuine communication, hurting others and themselves as they judge people unfairly. There’s Someone Inside Your House suggests that authentic communication, on the other hand, is a far better way to connect and empathize with others. 

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Gossip vs. Communication Quotes in There’s Someone Inside Your House

Below you will find the important quotes in There’s Someone Inside Your House related to the theme of Gossip vs. Communication.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“This is Osborne, Nebraska.” Her friend Darby sucked up the last drops of his gas station iced coffee. “Population: twenty-six hundred. A boy with pink hair is as scandalous as the death of a beloved student.”

Related Characters: Darby (speaker), Makani Young, Ollie Larsson, Haley Whitehall, Alex
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Makani knew better than to believe any of them outright. Rumors, even the true ones, never told a complete story. She avoided most of her classmates for that very reason. Self-preservation.

Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

As usual, there was no word from back home. At least the messages of hate had long stopped. No one there was looking for her, and the only people who still cared about it—the incident, as she self-censored that night on the beach—were people like Jasmine. The only people who mattered. Makani would have never guessed that her friends’ permanent silence would be infinitely more painful than those weeks when thousands of uninformed, condescending, misogynistic strangers had spewed vitriol at her. It was.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Jasmine, Grandma Young
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

It had been so long since Makani had felt any amount of genuine, unadulterated happiness that she’d forgotten that sometimes it could hurt as much as sadness. His declaration pierced through the muscle of her heart like a skillfully thrown knife. It was the kind of pain that made her feel alive.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Ollie Larsson, Jasmine, David Ware
Related Symbols: Knives
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Meanwhile, Makani pretended to be upset for the same reasons as her classmates. She pretended that the local news van, parked near the flag at half-mast, hadn’t broken her into a sweat. She pretended that she was cold when she put up the hood of her hoodie and angled her face away from the cameras. She pretended to belong.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Haley Whitehall
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Makani was grateful that she didn’t believe in ghosts; she only believed in the ghostlike quality of painful memories. And she was sure this house had plenty.

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

He checked his favorite message board, but the usual torch-and-pitchfork crowd were still up in arms over this new company of video game developers that was run entirely by women. His insides shrank with a familiar shame as he quickly left the page. Not that long ago, he’d been one of them.

Related Characters: Rodrigo Morales, Makani Young
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Their usual breakfast was whole-wheat toast or a bowl of fiber cereal. Makani didn’t need to ask why the change. Pancakes kept her grandmother occupied while they waited for information. Pancakes gave her a task to do with her hands in a world that seemed more and more out of her control. And pancakes showed Makani that, even though the world was frightening, she was loved.

Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Social boundaries were being crossed everywhere. Students still ate with their own kind, but each group sat a little closer to the other groups, and they weaved in and out of one another’s conversations. They were all talking about the same thing, anyway. It was sad that people only got along when everybody was unhappy.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Rodrigo Morales
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

The summer clothes were her old clothes. In Hawaii, the warmest items she’d needed were jeans and a hoodie. Here, she’d had to ask her grandmother to buy her a coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and sweaters. They’d made a special trip to a mall in Omaha, and she’d selected everything in black. She couldn’t explain why except that when she wore it, she felt a bit more protected. A bit more hardened.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Ollie Larsson, Grandma Young
Page Number: 146-147
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“If they’re hiding anything,” Ollie said, lifting his head to extend his own peace offering, “you’ll find it.”

Related Characters: Ollie Larsson (speaker), Makani Young, David Ware, Chris Larsson, Alex, Darby
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

“They want you to speak,” she said. “The town. They want you to stand up in front of all those people and cameras and be their mascot.”

Related Characters: Grandma Young (speaker), Makani Young, David Ware, Ollie Larsson
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

Makani slept long hours and stirred aimlessly through her house. The barrage was endless. Immeasurable. Sometimes it hurt because everyone had the wrong idea about her, but usually it hurt because it felt like they had it right.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Alex, Darby, Ollie Larsson
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:

Darby stepped in front of Alex to block her from Makani’s view. “You’re right. But I know what it’s like to be angry—to think that everyone has it easier than you. Or that everyone is against you. And if you don’t deal with those feelings, they don’t go away on their own. They keep building and building until they force their way out.”

Related Characters: Darby (speaker), Makani Young, Ollie Larsson, David Ware, Alex
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

Ollie stopped. His expression was serious. He waited to speak until she stopped, too. “Everybody has at least one moment they deeply regret, but that one moment . . . it doesn’t define all of you.”

Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Makani Young, David Ware, Jasmine
Related Symbols: Corn, Knives
Page Number: 283-284
Explanation and Analysis: