THE GLASS CASTLE
BOOK REVIEW AND STUDY HELPS.
In "The Glass Castle" there were many events that showed loyalty in the characters. When the oldest daughter is trying to save money to leave for New York, both Brian and Jeanette begin doing what they can to make money for her even though it won't benefit them directly. When the child welfare man shows up at their house in West Virginia, Jeanette defends her parents and covers for them instead of asking for help. At the pool, Jeanette's friend defends her right to be at the all African-American swim.
The kids would have to leave a lot of their things and friends every time they moved. They didn't always have money for the things they wanted. They never got to build the glass castle. Jeanette was disappointed every time her dad was drunk.
The mom cared more about her artwork than anything else.
When Jeannette was born, her family lived in southern Arizona. However, they moved constantly. Jeannette described it as the "skedaddle". She said, "We were always doing the skedaddle, usually in the middle of the night". They only had a few destinations in which they stayed there for more than a few months or a year. The first destination was Battle Mountain, Nevada. They stayed there for more than a year, and when they left, Jeannette actually felt a sad feeling. They're next home was their grandmother's old house in Phoenix, Arizona. Jeannette loved Phoenix the most out of all of the places their family lived. The warm, dry weather was where she felt most at home. They stayed there for a while before Rex Walls began to feel trapped and overwhelmed by the city. After the family did the "skedaddle" again, they moved to Texas. Jeannette's grandmother owned a large amount of land in Texas and when she died, the land belonged to Rose Mary Walls. Again, the Walls' moved on from their new home to a completely new area. They moved to Welch, which is in the Appalachian Mountains and then stayed there for years until all of the Walls children moved to New York.
Jeannette is a major character and protagonist. She is a round, dynamic character, and the memoir focuses on her development and maturity. She is Rex Wall's favorite daughter because of her forgiving nature. Despite her father's destructive nature, she chooses to be positive. Through her early childhood she chooses to ignore her father's drunken escapades, and thinks of him as a loving father and excellent teacher of the wild. It isn't until her junior year of high school that she realizes the indisputable flaws her father has. She uses her intelligence to eventually move away from her parents and Welch. She is a natural forgiver and it shows even when she moves away from her parents.
Rex is the father of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen Walls. He is brilliant and full of life when he is not drinking, but his alcoholism is quite destructive. It can be inferred that the reason Rex drinks is because of his own childhood. Rex was possibly molested or otherwise abused by his mother as a child. He had a special place in his heart for Jeannette, because she would forgive him for whatever destruction he caused. Rex leaves the family for days on a drinking binge. He is deceitful and deceptive. Rex's few attempts at staying sober all eventually fail, demonstrating a weakness that is a central part of his character. Jeanette comes to despise his alcoholism and leaves once she is able to escape him. He finally makes peace with Jeannette by the time he dies in the book.
Jeanette's mother is a free spirit. She has essentially no regard for others' opinions of her and is an unsuccessful artist who frequently prioritizes her art over her children, with the possible exception of Lori. Rose Mary exhibits selfishness, once hiding money to buy chocolate while the rest of her family starved. She frequently displays a lack of remorse for her actions and doesn't seem to care how her whims affect the rest of the family.