Peter and Lola’s strength, perseverance, and friendship is what ultimately led them to survive. By refusing the machine’s prosperous demands to dance, go crazy, and fight for food, they succeeded, although weakened, into not turning into people they hate. They stuck to their plan, stayed consistent and remained loyal to one another. One can’t help but whether if they did happen to fall for each other and chose the fate of being in love, if they would have prevailed at all. Love can be such a distraction at times and it does tend to cloud an individual’s judgements. Peter and Lola falling in love would omit a range of emotions that they perhaps would not be able to tackle in the environment and circumstance they were placed in. Choosing to remain friends in the same while caring deeply for each other allowed them to focus on the task they set for themselves; refusing to obey the machine. In the article, “The Importance of Friendship,” by Jane Collingwood, she references a book titled The Philosophy of Friendship by Mark Vernon, where he writes, “a close friend is a mirror of your own self, someone with whom you realize that, though autonomous, you are not alone.” He also adds, that “if we cultivate friendship, we can lift some of the burden from our apparently unhappy, isolated selves”. To if we cultivate friendship, we can “lift some of the burden from our apparently unhappy, isolated selves” further prove that Peter and Lola worked better as friends, and not as lovers, we can turn our attention towards the ending of House of Stairs where it describes Peter and Lola in their final scene, “he reached out and took he hand. Neither cared that someone might see. They had been taught all their lives that the only deep feelings between men and women were sexual, but now they knew that it was a lie. They were friends, they loved each other, and their hand-holding was perfectly innocent…” “…. They had won, there was no better feeling than that” (Sleator 165). This adamantly shows that all cross-sexed relationships are not meant to be explored beyond that. Peter and Lola were able to maintain their friendship and allow it to be pure while in the same while sticking to their beliefs and morals and the task for them at hand; not allowing the machine to win. They walked away from a terrible situation with their dignity and each life long kin.
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