The House of Dies Drear
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How we cite our quotes:
Thomas was thirteen years old today and never in his life had he been so far from home. (1.13)
Happy birthday, Thomas! Since Thomas is moving to a new place on his birthday, his birthday really signals the start of a new life. His official entrance to teen-hood is exciting, but also a little sad because he's already a little homesick.
In Civil War times it had been one of the houses on the Underground Railroad system, which was a resting and hiding place for slaves fleeing through the North to Canada. (2.4)
The Drear house shows that a house can be even more than a home; it can also be a symbol of freedom, kindness, and decency.
"But is it true that no one has lived in the house for more than three months in the last hundred years?" (2.29)
Mr. Small admits this is true, but gets mad before he has time to answer Thomas's questions about why. As we learn later, the Darrows might have had something to do with it – or, maybe it really is haunted. Since the story only lasts four days, we don't know if the Smalls make it past the three month mark. Maybe the sequel The Mystery of Drear House gives the answer.