The House That Jack Arnold Analysis

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Adolescence is a transitional stage that occurs in everyone’s life, generally accompanied with inquisitiveness towards life and revelations about oneself. As this complex period of life progresses, young adults and teenagers alike seek to cement their identities in the world and find who they truly are comfortable being. Unfortunately, the parents of these young adults may not be so thrilled with the result, as restless spirit Karen Arnold of the popular television series The Wonder Years discovers. In the episode “The House That Jack Built”, the fissure found in the foundation of the Arnold household serves as an extended metaphor, symbolizing the ever-growing rift between parent and adult child, and in a more literal sense, that despite one’s best efforts to make amends, sometimes foundations simply cannot be repaired. This is demonstrated by Jack’s reaction to the surprise appearance of Michael, and subsequently, the resulting fight between Jack and Karen, which…show more content…
Jack Arnold is one of the aforementioned men, with values as simple and solid as the walls of the house he is shown attempting to repair. Jack views himself as a self-sustaining man; not only does he enjoy tinkering with various items around the house, he insists on being the one to repair anything broken. He has an abundance of faith in his ability as a repairman and his ability to mend the crack in the foundation of his house, disregarding the fact that some things are just beyond saving. In most cases of a damaged foundation, only large cracks indicate structural damage. However, even small cracks can indicate foundation movement, despite the way Jack treats it, describing it as “Just a little crack.” Jack is a very traditional man, and any shift, in both his home and his family’s values, could mean even more of a loss of control for
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