The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt
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How does the family's house reveal that the Hoodhoods are not as perfect as Mr. Hoodhood would like people to believe?

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Holling's father, Mr. Hoodhood, wants to project the image of perfection to his community. He wants to be the perfect architect, have the perfect family, and of course, have the perfect house. Holling even refers to his home as "Perfect House."

But the Hoodhood family isn't perfect, and neither is...

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Holling's father, Mr. Hoodhood, wants to project the image of perfection to his community. He wants to be the perfect architect, have the perfect family, and of course, have the perfect house. Holling even refers to his home as "Perfect House."

But the Hoodhood family isn't perfect, and neither is the house. Every little thing that goes wrong with the house makes Mr. Hooodhood mad. But, as Holling points out, nothing makes his father madder than "the stain on the ceiling of the Perfect Living Room."

The Hoodhood's living room ceiling acts as a symbol for the problems within the family. In the "February" chapter, the ceiling that Mr. Hoodhood had just "fixed" comes crashing down. Afterwards, the entire family looks at the destruction: 

All four of us stood in the hall, the sickly smell of mold in our nostrils.

The failure of the ceiling to stay fixed mirrors the cracks that are also beginning to develop within the family—especially in the relationship between Mr. Hoodhood and Holling's sister, which is beginning to strain. Like the ceiling, we can guess that soon the relationship will break—and perhaps will prove to be even more difficult to repair than the ceiling.

Read more about the significance of the family's house to the novel here.

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