The Thief of Always

by Clive Barker

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What is ironic about the décor (decorations) of the Holiday House in The Thief of Always?

What's ironic about the décor of the Holiday House in The Thief of Always is that it's really grotesque and unpleasant to look at, despite the fact that this is supposed to be a really happy place.

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On the surface, it seems like the Holiday House has everything that a child could wish for. A regular children's paradise, it's a place where every child's dream comes true. There's Christmas every night, four seasons in a day, Halloween every evening, and as much candy as you can eat.

And yet there are clues that there's something not quite right about this place. Take the décor, for example. The Holiday House is supposed to be this magical place where the fun never stops. It's supposed to be a place of happiness. But the house has a large, musty room that is decorated from floor to ceiling by creepy masks.

Apparently, Mr. Hood, who owns the Holiday House, collects them. Some are made of plastic; others are made of straw or papier-mâché. Some of them are so utterly grotesque that they look as if they were made by crazy people. To add to the general level of creepiness, there are masks that look like skulls, complete with real teeth.

Harvey's friend Wendell is pretty casual about the whole deal. He invites Harvey to pick a mask; there's bound to be a vampire among Mr. Hood's collection. But Harvey's more concerned with rummaging through the large collection of clothes in the room in order to find something bat-like to wear for Halloween.

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