The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt

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Student Question

Why was having the "perfect house" important to Mr. Hoodhood?

Expert Answers

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I think that Mr. Hoodhood has to have the "perfect house" for two reasons. First, I think he is a control freak, and having everything about his house in a neat and perfectly ordered manner is a manifestation of his need for control and order. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with Mr. Hoodhood desiring this kind of control of his house. Unfortunately, Mr. Hoodhood applies that same controlling nature on people. Mrs. Hoodhood knows this, and she has all but given up on fighting it. That's why she is no help to Heather or Holling when it comes to their father's demands. For the most part, Holling is able to fit himself into his father's world. Holling doesn't intentionally subvert the control, but Heather is a very different story. Heather doesn't fit into Mr. Hoodhood's "perfect house" concept, and that is why the two constantly butt heads. The other reason he has to have the perfect house is that it functions as a form of advertising. He is a well-known architect, and his house serves as a way to let potential clients know that he is the kind of designer that pays attention to every small detail of a design.

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