There’s Someone Inside Your House


Stephanie Perkins

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Trauma, Loss, and Grief 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.
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon

In There’s Someone Inside Your House, an anonymous killer (later identified as David Ware) embarks on a gruesome killing spree, murdering and mutilating the high school students of Osborne, Nebraska, in an increasingly horrific fashion. The murders leave the close-knit farming community traumatized, afraid, and grieving.  Everyone struggles to understand how such evil could befall their otherwise ordinary town. Students panic as they try to identify a pattern to the killer’s targets, trying desperately to discover if they could be the next victim. Outside of the ongoing murders, characters also deal with unresolved personal traumas. Makani, the protagonist, struggles to forgive herself after she participates in a traumatic high school hazing ritual that got out of hand. As a result, Makani seriously hurt her best friend Jasmine, causing Jasmine and the entire community to turn against her and forcing her to leave Hawaii to live with her Grandma Young in Osborne. Makani mourns the loss of her old life, and she struggles to understand how and why the incident unfolded the way it did. Ollie, Makani’s crush, grieves the loss of his parents who died in a car wreck. Before Makani arrived in Osborne, Ollie went through a period where he turned to self-destructive behaviors to numb his grief, entering a sexual relationship with an older woman, drinking to excess, and ultimately trying to die by suicide. There’s Someone Inside Your House is a teen slasher story that goes beyond cinematic thrillers like Scream or Friday the Thirteenth, which primarily exploit violence and trauma for entertainment. Instead, the novel draws from conventions of the slasher genre to explore the various productive, destructive, and often highly personal ways that people work through trauma, loss, and grief. 

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Trauma, Loss, and Grief 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 Trauma, Loss, and Grief.
Chapter 2 Quotes

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:

Osborne smelled like diesel, tasted like despair, and was surrounded by an ocean of corn. Stupid corn. So much corn.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Ollie Larsson
Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 13
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 6 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Ollie Larsson
Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 68-69
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 10 Quotes

She had to believe that the mistakes of Ollie’s past didn’t guarantee that he would make even worse mistakes in his future. She had to believe that every mistake was still a choice. She had to believe that Ollie was a good person, because she had to believe it about herself.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Darby, Alex, Ollie Larsson, Jasmine
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

Makani wondered why discussing a tragedy—consuming every single story about it—was often comforting. Was it because tragedies manifested a sense of community? Here we are, all going through this terrible thing together. Or were tragedies addictive, and the small pleasures that came from them the signal of a deeper problem?

Related Characters: Makani Young, Grandma Young, Ollie Larsson
Page Number: 115
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 24 Quotes

That was it. The news rehashed the story from the top. David kept climbing into the truck, and it kept making a right turn. The killer kept going home.

Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

“People are sick. They think this is all a game.”

Related Characters: Makani Young (speaker), David Ware, Ollie Larsson, Grandma Young
Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 259
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27 Quotes

The terror was finally spreading outward. If the corn were an ocean, the cries were its waves.

Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 279
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:

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.

Related Characters: Makani Young, Makani’s Mother, David Ware
Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis: