Richard Wagamese: The Importance Of Home In 'Keeper N' Me

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The word “home” is mentioned 138 times throughout Keeper N’ Me. It discusses foster homes, homelessness, Garnet’s many homes, other people’s homes and the home Garnet never thought he would find. There is a difference between a home and a house. The difference isn’t always clear to find, unlike the phrase “home is where the heart is” finding your home can be quite difficult if you don’t know where your heart lies. When Garnet joins Lonnie and his family you could say that his heart laid with them but eventually we learn that their home was not where he belonged no matter how invested his heart was in their family. Through Garnet’s struggles and success of finding his real home, Richard Wagamese outlines the importance of people having a home.…show more content…
For Garnet, he’s never really had either form go home. He mainly grew up in foster care, going from house to house constantly. He never really thought of these houses as his home but rather somewhere he lived for a short time. As a child, he only lived with his family for about a quarter of his life, and even that is considered minuscule due to his lack of memory retention at such a young age. Therefore, Garnet doesn’t know what a home can be. He shared one of his many group homes with his siblings but that too soon was taken away when they were split up and he was again lost without any sort of direction. As he grew up he was taught that his heritage was dirty, savage and lazy. He himself grew up cheering for the cowboys rather than the Indians. When Garnet does arrive in White Dog he is taken into his Ma’s house. Only when he begins to with his Ma, does he consider it to be a proper home and thus begins his descent into proper comfort. Her house become’s his house which then becomes his home. The slow progression of Garnet settling into White Dog as well as his house serves as a symbol for the author’s theme of home. Of course, a house doesn’t make a home, but those who reside with you in it…show more content…
This could be in relation to building a house for their family to live in, having access to a home-like environment or being able to connect with right people to create a home. Garnet experiences all three of these. At a young age, he isn’t provided with a home-like environment but instead is shuffled around foster homes like a playing card. As he grows up, he doesn’t have the means of purchasing or building a home, or even the desire to settle down to start one. Again as he ages, he lacks the capabilities of connecting with the right people to create a family or home. His lack of exposure to any sort of homey atmosphere limits his capabilities in bonding emotionally to anyone. Wagamese illustrates all of these links and themes through his writing by exhibiting the symbols of Garnet’s lack of a home, as well as a lack of a loving family, but in the end provides Garnet with both. When Garnet does arrive home and meets his family he is finally comfortable with his life. He finds peace and love with his family and poses as a true advocate for those who wish to have a home but are unsure of how to do
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