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A House Is Not a Home

Tutormate > CBSE Syllabus-Class 9th English > A House Is Not a Home

01 A House Is Not a Home

The story, ‘A House is not a Home’ is a real account from the author’s life. As teenagers, one may have issues like depression, coping with new people and places, drug abuse, bullying, relationship issues, behaviour problems, and many others. This story reflects the challenges of being a teenager, and the problems of growing up. The author drives home the message that life without affection is useless. Her feelings of depression and insecurity were natural when she thought that she had lost everything. Even the encouragement of her old teachers did not do her any good. The fire, in which she lost her house and almost her cat, only deepened her sorrow. But, things changed when the author made friends with her fellow students at the new school. She understood that she was only dwelling in self-pity and insecurity.

Meanings of words and phrases

  • awkward: a situation that is embarrassing and difficult to deal with
  • isolated: alone
  • encourage: give support, confidence, or hope to someone
  • psychology: mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual
  • swatting: hit something
  • stoking: to tend to fire by adding fuel to it
  • seams: a line where two things join
  • groping: search blindly or uncertainly by feeling with the hands
  • engulfed: surrounded completely
  • grasp: seize and hold back
  • yelling: shouting loudly
  • emerged: appeared by coming out
  • casualty: any person, group, thing, that is harmed or destroyed as a result of some act or event
  • embarrassed: feel ashamed or shy
  • weird: very strange and unusual
  • destined: seems certain to happen or to be done
  • outcast: a person who has no place in the society or in a particular group
  • Geek: an unfashionable or socially unskilled person
  • to curl up: to lie with your back curved and your legs and arms close to your chest
  • surreal: does not seem real
  • ripped away: pull something quickly or forcibly away
  • heroically: in an admirably brave or determined manner
  • grieve: feel or express great sadness
  • rubble: piles of broken stone and bricks, etc. that are left when a building falls down or is destroyed
  • vulnerable: capable of being easily wounded or hurt
  • robe: a loose piece of clothing which covers all of your body and reaches the ground
  • plight: a serious, sad, or difficult condition
  • shove: push suddenly
  • genuine: people and things that are exactly what they appear to be
  • insecurity: little confidence and uncertainty about their own abilities
  • freaked: behave in a wild and irrational way
  • sorely: extremely
  • overwhelming: very great in amount
  • diminish: reduce in size or importance
  • gratitude: feeling or quality of being thankful

Character Sketch of the doctor

The author is a teenager who has just graduated from junior high school to high school. She finds it difficult to adjust to the new school and constantly remains in touch with her old teachers. Her cat seems to be her only companion during the difficult days. After the fire destroys her house, the author dwells in constant insecurity and self-guilt. She cannot get over the loss of her cat. But when, her new fellow students help her out, she eventually emerges out of her cocoon and accepts life whole heartedly. And towards the end, she also gets back her cat for which her heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for her new friends, the stranger who returns her cat and for life as a whole.

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