The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

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Rough Draft Essay In the novel The House of Sand and Fog Andre Dubus III presents a suspiciously unlucky conflict between three strangers. These three people are engaging in a serious dispute over the ownership of a small house. As the three characters battle for the rightful ownership of the house, it is clear that their current actions are motivated by an event or moment of some sort from their pasts. Although the actions by Lester, Colonel Behrani, and Kathy contribute to the tragic deaths of the Behrani family at the end of the novel, it is mostly Kathy, with Lester’s influence, who is to blame for the disastrous outcome. It is Kathy‘s desperation to make up for her past that causes the tragic downfall of not only the Behrani family, but also of Lester and herself as well. To begin with, Kathy has struggled with a lifetime of substance abuse. This abuse has made an indelible impression upon her self-esteem and personal identity. Her self-worth is so eroded that she chooses to either escape through the use of drugs or chooses to uplift her sense of self through the intimate relationships she forms with others. Having recently recovered from addictions to cocaine and alcohol, Kathy is desperate to turn her life around. And, to make matters worse during this period of sobriety Kathy’s husband, Nick, walks out on her. Now, the only thing remaining for her to cling to is the house. In Kathy’s mind, the house and her “new life” cannot be separated, and she will do anything to have them both. This “new life” of Kathy’s includes a married police officer, Lester Burdon. Lester’s past has affected him very deeply. When he was a young boy his father abandoned his family, never to be heard from again. As a result, Lester has difficulty trusting people and adopts the role of the “knight in shining armor.” Like Kathy, Lester also suffers from a damaged self-esteem, so

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