16 April 2009
What a Home Is
In Anna Quindlen’s essay “Homeless,” the author discusses not only what it is like to be without shelter, but what it is to be without a home. The common emotional and physical traits that one would expect to find in having a home are discussed by the writer and are as follows: certainty, stability, and predictability.
First, when Quindlen talks about certainty, She says “I love dumb things about it [my home]: the hot-water heater, the plastic rack you drain dishes in, the roof over my head, which occasionally leaks” (pg. 105). Certainty means being without doubt and the feeling of knowing that the little things that make a home will be there to give one comfort and a sense of well-being. It is not material possessions that gives certainty, but the love that one has for their home no matter how big or small or how furnished or un-furnished it may be.
Next, Quindlen gives examples of stability. For example, she says, “‘one room,’ a woman with a baby who was sleeping on her sister’s floor, once told me, ‘painted blue’” (pg. 106). Stability means permanence and without change. This is important because it gives one reassurance and peace of mind. This cannot be found in a shelter or sleeping in cold damp alley, but from actually owning a home as Quindlen says, “…pride of ownership” (pg. 106).
Finally, predictability is discussed by the writer when she says “There was a time when where you lived is often where you worked and where you grew the food you ate and even where you were buried” (pg. 105). This is an example of predictability because it not only shows what to expect from day to day but what to expect for a life-time.There is no predictability when one is homeless because there is no way to predict where the next spot of shelter will be or where the next meal will come from.
In conclusion, when Anna Quindlen, in her essay “Homeless,” talks about certainty, stability, and...