Themes

Social status

Jackson’s visit to his old home is not one fuelled by a genuine desire to re-connect with a place. He is not truly interested in the condition of the area, nor is he concerned with any of its inhabitants (interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, Jackson doesn’t have any friends in the area).

Jackson’s trip is motivated by his desire to show-off his elevation in social standing. This is reflected in the metaphor of climbing a statue in his youth to show off - he literally lifted himself above others.

For Jackson and his wife, money and what it can buy equate to success. They obsess over the superficial aspects that they link to social class: the kind of house one was brought up in, table manners, furniture and cars. They seem to be completely devoted to material possession, and are oblivious to the fractured society that is in front of them – both in Glasgow and in South Africa.

Crichton Smith uses the Jacksons to show the reader that people should consider the situations of others. Though Jackson remembers how unfairly he was treated by a factor years ago, he now supports the deeply unfair treatment of groups of people in South Africa. There is a deep irony in this: though Jackson thinks that he has remembered where he came from, he seems to have forgotten everything about it.

Erosion of community

In Home, the Glasgow community is portrayed as one that has been broken apart:

quote
the old tenements were being knocked down and the people shuttled out to huge featureless estates where the windows revealed the blue sky of TV. There were hardly any picture houses left: they had been converted into bingo halls.

The supermarkets that have taken over sound more anonymous than the small shops. The removal of character is reflected in the loss of lover's lane and the replacement of the pastoral carelessness of the park with what sounds like charmless planting of literate slogans in flowers.

Inhabitants appear to rarely interact with each other, in contrast to the community portrayed in The Telegram. At times, however, it is unclear whether the community has changed, or that Jackson’s nostalgia (and desire to underline his own “success”) is portraying the tenements of thirty-five years ago in a romanticised light.

Move on to Test
next