Not surprisingly, the most prominent theme revealed in the novel relates to the title. Sister Husband tells Novalee early on that "Home is where your history begins," and the two women eventually make a home together for themselves and Novalee's daughter, Americus. This concept of nontraditional family acts as the central theme of the novel.
Letts encourages readers to see that family means more than blood relations. The biological familial connections shown—with Novalee's Mom and Americus's dad, Willy Jack—fail completely at their roles as responsible and loving family members. The family that Novalee forms consists of Sister Husband and Mr. Sprock, Lexie, Forney Hull, and the Whitecottons. Neighbors like the Ortiz family and Henry and Leona Warner fill out the community as family circle. All these people aid Novalee in ways that a traditional family normally would by providing a home, child care, education, and spiritual fortitude. Forney Hull's dedication and loyalty to his alcoholic sister shows that family based on biology is not always the happiest and best scenario.
Another noteworthy theme of the novel is Letts's attention to class throughout the novel. Novalee represents such working-class American ideals as honesty, self-reliance, and the belief that success comes through hard work. Letts keeps social stigma and criticism out of the story by largely focusing on other characters who are in similar financial and social positions....
(The entire section is 1388 words.)
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