Study Guide

The Red Pyramid The Home

By Rick Riordan

The Home

"Poor boy, forced to travel the world, skip school, and spend time with Dad while I get a whole two days a year with him!" "Hey!… You get a home! You get friends and a normal life and don't wake up each morning wondering what country you're in!" (11.18-19)

Which is better, having a home or having adventures? Sadie and Carter clash (yet again) on who has it better in life. Can you have a home and have adventures?

"Don't let the bedbugs bite," I called. And I realized I hadn't said that to Sadie since we had lived together in Los Angeles, when Mom was still alive. (5.109)

This makes it seem like Ruby Kane was the linchpin holding the Kane family together in their Los Angeles home. No mom = no home—and none of the comforting rituals that go along with home. Do you think Carter and Sadie are better able to do courageous things because of or in spite of the fact that they've had untraditional home and family lives?

"God," I said. "Did Elvis have no taste?" "The Jungle Room," Carter said. "He decorated it like this to annoy his dad." "I can respect that." (24.36-38)

Home is where you go to feel comfortable… but your home is also a reflection of your other social relationships. In this case, Elvis displayed some super-tacky decorative skills in order to make a point to his dad. What point, we're not exactly sure. By the way, you can see that Jungle Room here.

"Your folks look cool," I said. "Is that home?" Zia seemed like she wanted to get angry, but she kept her emotions under control. Or maybe she just didn't have the energy. "It was my home. The village no longer exists." (17.33-34)

Maybe it's because Zia has lost her childhood home that she's so enthusiastic about being a magician and proving her loyalty to the House of Life. Zia is another example of magic's connection to people who have gone through untraditional or difficult experiences in their home and family lives.

I also decided not to tell him what had finally changed me back to human. I hadn't focused on Dad at all. I'd imagined Mum alive, imagined us walking down Oxford Street together, gazing in the shop windows and talking and laughing—the kind of ordinary day we'd never gotten to share. (23.10)

Sadie's relationship with her mom is strong enough to bring her home into her own body, which reminds us that our bodies are our first homes. If you're at home in your body, you can be at home no matter where you go (for magicians who can shape change, though, the issue sure gets more complicated sometimes).

I'd heard stories about how thousands of people cross the border from Mexico illegally each year, looking for work and a better life, but it was startling to actually see them in front of me—a man and a woman hurrying along, carrying a little girl between them. (30.49)

We're not saying that Carter's naive—okay, yes we are—but yeah, obviously there are tons of people who leave their homes in search of better ones. Probably very few people like emigrating (and even fewer like doing so illegally), but the Kane kids' lives and homes aren't the only ones disrupted by forces beyond their control.

I'd spent years dreaming of being back with my parents, together in our house in L.A. But not like this: not with the house just an afterimage, and my mom a spirit, and my dad…recycled. (41.78)

Once you grow up, you can never go home, or at least not to the home of your childhood. Sadie and Carter are learning this the hard way. Growing up changes how you perceive your childhood home, and by then, the home itself has probably changed on its own, too. In the Kanes' case, you can grow up to be a godling and have your parents turn out to be not-quite-dead. That will definitely change how you perceive your home.

And as soon as I'd found a new home—a mansion with a proper breakfast and friendly pets and quite a nice room for me, by the way—Uncle Amos disappeared, my lovely new crocodile and baboon friends were tossed in a river, and the mansion was set on fire. (11.3)

Of all the life transitions, moving or losing your home is one of the hardest. Sadie certainly realizes this, and she complains about how just as she was starting to get settled in to the Brooklyn mansion, that home was taken away from her, too.

Once I saw Desjardins' house, I hated him even more. It was a huge mansion on the other side of the Tuileries, on rue des Pyramides. (18.109)

Desjardins must lead a pretty charmed life: he's second in command to the Chief Lector of the House of Life, and he's got a decked-out home in Paris. Based on the fact that it's all tricked out with warding spells, we're guessing this place is dear to him. He probably enjoys his fancy French foods and wines right here.

Sadie punched my arm. "Carter! I told them I couldn't very well go home, because I already was home. This is where I belong." (41.191)

Given how much Sadie gripes about being stuck with Carter, it's not surprising that he assumes she'd want to go back to England when all this was over. In characteristic Sadie style, though, she spunkily demonstrates that her notion of home has changed due to all the adventures they've shared together.