The Glass Castle Analysis

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I chose to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I chose to read the book because the title intrigued me. I wanted to learn more about the glass castle she was talking about and why it was significant. Walls takes the reader through her childhood by connecting memories to topics such as family and pride. The first scene describes Walls as a three year old cooking hot dogs, showing how she learning to be self-sufficient at a young age.

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However, she accidentally tips over the pot and gets burned, forcing her to be rushed to the hospital. Her parents aren’t worried because they believe that it is good for children to get hurt when they’re young, so they’ll grow up to be strong. They then proceed to sneak her out of the hospital when she wasn’t ready to be released. This shows how her parents were absent minded and caught up in their own false realities to understand the brutalities and responsibilities of life. Another scene is when it is Christmas and their family doesn’t have enough money for presents, her father takes Walls into the yard and tells her to choose a star for a gift. Instead of a star, she chooses a planet, showing her high ambitions.

The scene also shows how she idolizes her father; rather than seeing him as an alcoholic, she sees him as a misunderstood genius. The book portrays vivid images of her memories and a strong emotional connection to her childhood. The reader often feels secondhand anger to her descriptions of her recollections. For example, Walls was sexually harassed by a man almost three times her age and her father blows it off as a bit of attention, saying she could handle it when she was screaming for his help. The reader felt her fear of being hurt and felt a rising rage at her father for not caring about his daughter, reminding them how ill equipped the parents were for raising their children. Walls has a telling memory for detail that shows the harsh reality of poverty in America and what they do to children. Her appealing, unadorned style of writing keeps the reader interested in the poignant story.

In addition, she has a deceptive ease in which she makes the audience see how she and her siblings were convinced their unstable childhood was an adventure. The book has a lyrical style to her words and makes the memoir unforgettable. She also portrays an easy dynamic of love between Walls and her family by describing each person so vividly, you come to understand each character in the narrative completely. Every childhood problem the characters faced while living in desolation in Welch, West Virginia, within an unfurnished house with a slanted porch, came to signify more than a time of financial misfortune. These clashes symbolized the relationship between the self-centered mother, Rose Mary, and her convoluted sense of parental responsibilities, their father Rex’s unrelenting drinking habits at the expense of his family and four children’s desire to attain a life of eventual normalcy. 

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