The Glass Castle, By Jeanette Walls

Decent Essays

In the memoir, The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls, the main character, grows up in a dysfunctional family that travels from place to place like nomads. Her father is an alcoholic, who is verbally abusive and destructive when drunk; however, when sober, he is charismatic and knowledgeable. Her mother is an artist who does not want to take on the responsibility of raising a family. Walls and her three siblings live out of the ordinary and in the worst possible environments and circumstances. Despite all the troubles and hardships she has been through, she remains indefatigable. Although Walls had a traumatic and atypical childhood, she demonstrates her strength and ability to overcome the past through the use of tone, imagery, and pathos. …show more content…

Every time it rained, the plasterboard ceiling would get all swollen and heavy, with water streaming from the center of the bulge (Walls, 153)." Walls uses imagery to provide the readers with a vivid illustration of the house. Furthermore, a graphic description makes the readers feel like they are looking at the setting or situation as if they were actually in Walls' shoes when she was a child. Imagery can also portray themes throughout the story. Walls recounted the memory of her favorite tutu that made her look "like a ballerina (Walls, 9)", which demonstrates the theme of innocence and happiness. Then, she says, "I screamed. I smelled the burning and heard a horrible crackling as the fire singed my hair and eyelashes (Walls, 9)." These two contrasting images express opposing themes in her life from happiness to destruction. The purpose of using imagery is to provide the readers with a clearer perspective of Walls' past lifestyle. Walls' use of pathos evokes diverse emotions in the readers throughout the book. For instance, when Walls flies out of the car and her parents are nowhere to be seen, she thinks, "They might not notice I was missing. They might decide that it wasn’t worth the drive back to retrieve me; that, like Quixote the cat, I was a bother and a burden they could do without (Walls, 30)." This quote makes the readers feel sympathy towards Walls. Walls shares her personal thought to appeal to the readers' emotions and to communicate that

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