The Glass Castle Project

"Walls has joined the company of writers scuh as Mary Karr and Frank McCourt who have been able to transform their sad memories into fine art."



Rex Walls always has a hope for the future of him and his family, and the building of the Glass Castle. Rex has a hope to one day create this castle and be able to provide for his family and also himself. Rex keeps his children believing and hoping in him through this entire book, that one day they will have this  Glass Castle and they won't be struggling to survive their entire life.

Self- Sufficiency

Self- Sufficiency is another huge theme in this book. No matter how poor or desperate the Walls family is, never once do they go to a charity or ask other people for money. They always live off of their own money and they way that it is made, whether a child of theirs has to go find a job so they can eat that night or not. Never in this book does the Walls family seek out help from others. When there is an injury they don't rely on the doctors to fix it, they fix it at home.  They are solely self- sufficient on clothing, food, housing, transportation, injury, money, everything.


Introduction- The introduction starts out in the present life of Jeanette Walls and it then sets the stage for the book to be written about Jeanettes childhood life to then by the end of the book you are back to Jeanette's present life.

Rising Action- The rising action of the story is the whole talk about the future and the better life the Walls family will have one day when Rex gets the money to build the glass castle from his blueprints he has created with Jeanette. This idea keeps the family occupied with the thought of one day having a life with food, proper clothing and housing, and just the better life.

Falling Action- Lori is the first one to move to New York and start here carrier and life on her own. Jeanette then follows and starts her career writing for different newspapers in New York, she also was the first Walls child to go to college and graduate. Brian also moved up there and joined the police force a little while later, doing what he has always dreamed of doing and becoming. Maurrean was the last of the Walls and she also moved to New York City, she went to high school and soon after moved in with her parents who decided to live in New York along with their children even if they were homeless, like they were.

Resolution- Lori, Jeanette, Brian, and Rose all lived in New York City. Lori continued in school. While Brian and Jeanette started their own lives and families on there own. Maureen lived in California, where she had always wanted to live. And Rex died of a tropical disease that was incurable and that he got from a fight he was involved in. Rose became head of the squatters.


  • Jeanette- Jeanette is the narrator of the story, she is the secong oldest in the Walls family and is the only person who has faith in her father, Rex Walls. What motivates her for most of the book is the faith that she has put into her dad that one day he will build the glass castle and that they will no longer struggle to live life. She carries the baggage of her family, and the weight of living life with her family that never knows what could be happening next. Jeanette struggles with the fact that she wants to make it through life and come out of it not struggle. She doesn't want to constantly be fighting her parents trying to convince them to stop spending money on themselves whether it be alchohol for her dad or art supplies for her mom. She carries the baggage of always feeling like it's her providing for her family. Jeanette always told her parents that they were choosing the life for their family, and that they could be going out and finding a job and making their families life a whole lot better than what they are offering to them. She is important not only because she is the narrator of this story but because she is the only one who has faith in her dad and gives hope to the other people in her family.
  • Mom- Rose Mary Walls is the mother of Lori, Jeanette, Brian, and Maureen. She is also the wife of Rex Walls. Rose is motivated by her art. She is focused on being an artist for her job and does whatever it takes to get her there. That is all that Rose cares about. Her art is what gives her meaning in life. She is constantly painting and evulating other peoples paintings/drawings to hers. She expresses herself through her art. She carries the baggage of her entire family, mostly because of her husband Rex. She carries the baggage of never being able to provide her family, whether that be food or housing or the proper clothing, whatever it may be she carries the baggage of not being able to help her. Rose is a significant part of the family because no matter what her husband does, she refuses to leave him.
  • Dad- Rex Walls is the father of Lori, Jeanette, Brian, and Maureen. And the husband of Rose Mary Walls. Rex is motivated by his blueprints and idea of building the glass castle for himself and his family. He lives with the hope that one day the blueprints will one day become in actual glass castle. Rex deals with the baggage of never being able to stay in one place for a long period of time and never being able to provide for his family. He deals with this baggage by drinking away all his worries, problems and issues. What is significant about him is that he never ever gives up on his plans for the future no matter how bad it gets or how unrealistic it becomes, he always has faith even when no one else does.

Mohjave Desert is where the Walls lives temporaryly to look for gold that is going to one day help them build the Glass Castle.


Bronx, New York is where the Walls family all ended up by the end of the book and at the beginning of their adulthood.

Phoenix, Arizona is where the Walls move to live in the house that Rose Mary inherited from her mother.

Blythe, California is where Marueen is born.

Welch, West Virginia is where the two filmmakers come and tell Lori that she has a talent and suggest she move to New York City.

Important Quotes

“You know, it's really not that hard to put food on the table if that's what you decide to do.” - Brian Walls; pg 288

This means that if you really want to eat and have food that night, it's not hard to do. This quote came up at the very end of the book when Brian and the rest of the Walls family had come over to Jeanette's for Thanksgiving dinner. Rex, their father had died just a few years ago and was not there with them to celebrate. Brian said this when they were all sitting down at the table to begin their Thanksgiving feast. Brian said this because having food at night or at all for the Walls was huge as a kid. Because growing up their dad always took the money that they did have and used it to buy his fair share of alcohol. So, Brian was pointing out that really having food on the table is not hard at all if you really want it.

“Things usually work out in the end." -Rose Mary Walls; pg 259

"What if they don't?"- Jeanette Walls; pg 259

"That just means you haven't come to the end yet.”- Rose Mary Walls; pg 259

This means that when things don't work out or they don't go how you planned, you aren't at the end. This quote came when it was pouring rain and Jeanette was concerned. Her mama, Rose Mary was trying to tell her that something worse could be ahead, and it won't be the end when they do, because things usually work out in the end. This quote is significant because it gave the Walls family hope in time of chaos.

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