The story I am going to analyse is called “Better Homes and Gardens”. It is written by Catherine Moffat.
The author lives on the New South Wales Central Coast and she is known for stories where strong social justice is one of the main themes and a lot of her stories are about people being both on the edge of themselves but also on the edge of society.
And this short story is not an exception. The theme of this story is about homelessness in a modern society and especially being homeless as a child, where you need to take responsibility early in your life.
Throughout the story, we hear about this little family and their dreams about the future. The title of the story is “Better Homes and Gardens” which refers to their favourite TV show that they watch every Friday.
Which is a program where they renovate houses and gardens. I think that the reason why they watch this TV show, is because that is how they want their life to be.
They do not want to be homeless and live in a car and always need to avoid the police. They want to have a house like everybody else, and do not want to be separated from the rest of the society.
So, they watch this TV show, because this is how they want their future to be, this is what they are dreaming of.
So the title of the story both has a literal meaning because it refers to the TV show, but it also has a symbolic sense because it is based on the ideal life.