ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reading Response: "Mansion: A subprime parable" by Michael Lewis

Updated on September 18, 2017
tHErEDpILL profile image

Alem is an Entrepreneur and Writer with an A.S. in Digital Film Making.

Interesting essay this, "Mansion: A subprime parable" by Michael Lewis.

It starts off as an informative inside look at both sides of the housing market, but ends up being a psychological theory of American cultural behavior and its consequences. The author considerers himself as "upper-middle class", which in his words is a sneaky way of saying, "I am well off" without having to say "I' m rich." After falling victim to Americas brainwashing he decides to move his family into a mansion only to realize that he did not belong in or need to be in one. At one point he goes as far to suggest the mansion itself was in agreement saying, "I turned my attention to survival. The mansion was not satisfied with making us uneasy. It wanted us out." After this statement he goes on to give examples of eerie, annoying, and unpleasant things that were happening in the house.

For instance, hearing the cries of a previous owners dead cat and getting a call from the equipment-supervisor about his unknown house surveillance system. At the end of this reading many sentences stood out to me but one of the authors statements really got me thinking. He says, "people who buy something they cannot afford usually hear a little voice warning them away or prodding them to feel guilty. But when the item in question is a house, all the signals in American life conspire to drown out the little voice." Why is that I ask? I have always wondered why rich people, mainly celebrities, always buy these big mansions. I mean just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you need a 50 room estate to accommodate you, your wife and your 2 or three kids, and maybe a dog or two. Another thing, the people who buy these "homes" are rarely ever "home." They are usually out on the road making a movie or playing sports. Is it for safety? Do they want to protect themselves from the poor savages who live on fixed incomes? Are they superficial and vane to the point of excess over access? Or are their minds just trained to follow a basic formula, get rich-get big house? I think it's all of the above but, all of the above caused by the last of the above.

I've always wanted to live in a mansion myself. Why? After reading this essay I think it's because this country brainwashed me into believing that if a big house means success then the biggest house means the biggest success. Little did I even stop to think about the upkeep a mansion requires. Living in one of these things appears to be like owning a strip club, which was one of my other dreams (in my younger days). By the end of each month you have to pay rent or mortgage, lights, liquor, food, water, strippers(workers), surveillance, security, and the list goes on. No wonder all of these actors never have enough money even after making enough in one film for you or me to live off of for the rest of our lives. They bought a mansion!!! Some bought two or three!!! And they don't want to give them up. So next time I see an actor starring in a movie they previously wanted no part of or appearing in numerous movies back to back, I just may go online and see how many houses they own. What have we become?

This Essay can be found in a book titled "The Best American Essays" by Mary Oliver.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)