The Glass Castle is about a very poor family that constantly moves from place to place just to seemingly stay alive. The book addresses the many social issues that we deal with every day. One of the most important social issues disputed on a daily basis are the kind of parents we want to be and what we want to teach our children for their future. In this memoir we are able to see how Rex and Rosemary Walls teach their children the values of everyday life. The parents try to teach their children that whatever life throws at you, you can handle it with resilience. The parents accomplished the goals for their children by telling them that they loved them and to never give up. The Walls children gained exceptional values that may not have been learned had these children grown up with different parents. Both parents in the Glass Castle ultimately help Jeannette and the rest of her family become the people they are today, and would not have been able to accomplish this without the parents.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir to put down. It is a book about Jeannette’s unique childhood and how her experiences as a child shaped the rest of her life. When she was a child, Jeannette did not have a normal childhood like today’s average children. Her family would constantly push her around, but it was not typical child abuse because she did not realize her life was any different than other children. She thought it was completely normal for a three-year-old to cook her own food on the stove, and when she was forced to use a cardboard box as a bed, she was completely okay with it. Through this memoir, Jeannette Walls grasps the reader’s attention with her rare childhood experiences.
On Jeannette’s 10th birthday, her alcoholic dad gave her an opportunity to ask whatever she wants as long as it’s physically possible. Jeannette asked, “Do you think you could maybe stop drinking?” (Walls 116). Her wish was granted and her dad stopped drinking -- in just one chapter. After a few days, he came home drunk again; “he cursed and lurched at [his kids], swinging his fist” (Walls 122). This illustrates that not only he lacks responsibility, but he also lacks the resolve to do what her daughter asked for her 10th birthday. Furthermore, when they were on a trip to the Grand Canyon, “the speedometer needle crept past one hundred, the last number number on the dial, and pushed into the empty space beyond” (Walls 119). He knows the consequences but he did it anyway. The car broke down, and they were stuck in the middle of the desert. This further emphasizes his lack of responsibility and resistance to
Jeannette Walls, Shows in the book The Glass Castle that there are a lot of situations that happen in life where people make countless mistakes, but it is very important to forgive her father and her mother for many mistakes. She has to cope with many obstacles without her parent's help. In the author's memoir, we become attracted with Jeannette constant struggle between protecting her family and the pleasure that her family is based on the same hopes and senseless falsehood with her unbelievable storytelling method. The feelings of forgiveness hold the Walls family together. Jeanette was able to describe her family's childhood, relationships with one another. The children of the Walls family are forced to begin the independent life at an
Think back to your own childhood. Could you imagine being a child, and not having a care in the world, but then, as quick as the snap of a finger, that all changes because of a thoughtless mistake made by your parents? In The Glass Castle it is revealed that as Jeannette grew up, she endured hardships inflicted upon her by her own parents. However, if Jeannette had not gone through these things, she never would have gained the characteristics that she values present day. Although Jeannette Walls faced hardships and endured suffering during her childhood, these obstacles formed her into a self-reliant woman who proves that just because you do not have as much money as other families, you can still achieve success in your life.
Self-sufficiency is the ability to support oneself without external assistance. In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls depicts the importance of self-sufficiency through the use of, symbolism, motivation, and characterization. Jeannette Walls battles poverty, addiction, social exclusion, and irresponsibility. She overcomes this by being independent and self-sufficient.
Throughout the book, Jeanette's father, Rex Walls, continuously tells his children that one day he will build them a gorgeous home completely made of glass where the family would be happy together. When the family moved to Welch, Brian and Jeannet both start digging the foundation for the glass castle in the backyard. Even when the family couldn’t afford the trash-collection fee, she was told by her dad to start putting garbage into the foundation they dug. She writes, "He explained to me that he was going to hire a truck to cart the garbage to the dump all at once. But he never got around to that, either, and as Brian and I watched, the hole filling with garbage." (Walls 155) The visual imagery of the hole filling with garbage is a metaphor for how the family will not ever be happy and financially stable if they keep relying on Rex's empty promises. This contributes to Wall's purpose and the reason she chose to be independent is that she could not trust her father to make the promises happen, therefore she would be doing things herself, again not letting her past define
In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls tells the story of her childhood and describes her life in poverty. She had experienced what injustice was first hand. Her father, Rex, was an alcoholic that spent all of their money on booze. Because of this, they never had any money to spend on a house or food. They were always moving because they did not pay their bills and were running away from their problems. Her mother, Rose Mary, was irresponsible and only thought about herself. She refused to get a job and when she did, her kids had to drag her out of bed every morning. She did not watch her children and she let them do whatever they wanted. This caused the children to get into trouble with other kids and even adults. She spent money on useless commodities and could not afford to buy her starving children any food. Every day, the children had to rummage through the trash to find food to eat. When Jeannette finally realized she did not want to live with injustice anymore she left. It was very hard for her father to watch her go but she did not look back. She started focusing on the future and became a successful journalist. This was one of the many ways she gained her justice back. She offered to help her parents by buying them clothes and offering them money. She was trying to make everything just again by giving her parents what they never gave to her. Her parents never took any of her gifts because they saw it as charity and did not appreciate it. The injustice that happened to Jeannette made her who she is today. If she did not go through all of those injustices, she might not have realized that her passion in life was to write. It has made her a better person and she can now help others going through the same thing through her writings.
The Glass Castle is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls, giving the public a look at her rough upbringing and her nomadic childhood. The memoir, however is written in a way of which the author is not seeking sympathy from the reader. She also wrote in such a way as to not induce anger in the reader, as that is not what she was searching for. Jeannette wrote in order to inform and inspire, and to tell a tale as crazy as it is. Jeannette grew up, one of four siblings. Her parents had alternate methods of parenting and different ideas of how children should be raised. They taught them to have similar morals to them, and similar values. Although, as the children age, they begin to realize how wrong their parents are, and how
As flames engulfed her dress, they burned down her stomach as she screamed for help. This was the first memory Jeannette Walls had in The Glass Castle . The plot of the story reveals her childhood of poverty as she moved around the country with her delusional family. Her alcoholic father and mentally ill mother created a very different lifestyle for their children, and raised them like no other. The unique plot, strong characters, and many settings make the novel successful. In this autobiography, she perseveres through tough times and leads the reader down the path she took to adulthood.
By constantly moving around, Jeanette’s childhood was characterized by its instability and her own dependence on herself in order to survive the negligence of her parents. The glass castle symbolized a place where the Walls’ family would finally settle and become free of governmental intervention, however, it was through Jeanette’s realization that individualism was the underlying issue to her family’s problems, that she became aware of the impracticalness of being self-reliant. While Jeanette did have faith in her parents, her father’s continual inability to support his family and her mother’s own carelessness for her children, eroded all of Jeanette’s confidence. Jeanette’s decision to move to New York was not fueled by a need for individualism, however, it was in fact her desire to return to society and reintegrate into a world where she would be able to interact with other people. Thus, Jeanette's return to society signified her dependence of others and shows how individualism can never solve all of people's
The Glass Castle gave Jeanette and her family a false hope when they believed that their father would actually build the castle. Jeanette realizes that her father will not build the Glass Castle once she reaches adulthood, as she grows up she slowly begins to believe in this dream less and less. She stops believing in this because her father makes many promises to her, but he never fulfilled those promises. When they began to build the glass castle like her father told her they would, Brian and Jeanette had dug the foundation for the Glass Castle, her father tells her them to throw the trash into the hole, this is like calling their dream garbage. Even though they took so much time to build the foundation, believing that it was actually for the castle, “the hole for the Glass Castle’s foundation slowly filled with garbage” (Walls 155). He told them many times that they would build the castle, and that they only needed money to build it, but they never do. Even when they actually have money from Jeanette’s grandma dying, he
While her father’s dismisses his destructive nature, Jeannette becomes conscious of his actions which motivates her to make amends in hopes of leaving their desolate life. Instead of getting help for his childhood trauma, Rex immerses himself in alcohol causing him to become
Jeannette and her little brother Brian spent a long time digging this hole, therefore it must have been devastating to watch as it was used as a place to stow away the family’s garbage. Jeannette was starting to realize that her father was probably never going to build the Glass Castle. Rex still hoped that his daughter would believe him, that she would feed him the lies for a little while longer even though the idea of the Glass Castle was slowly slipping away.