The Glass Castle

Book Review and Study helps


Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of foolish behavior. Throughout the whole book, Jeannette hated the way her parents lived. She was ashamed of them.

Forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. In the book,forgiving and being forgiven was important. Laurie, Brian, Maureen, and Jeannette learned to forgive their mom and dad for neglecting as they grew up. Everyone makes mistakes and that is why Forgiveness is the most important part of the book.


Introduction: Jeannette burns herself while boiling hotdogs on the stove at the age of three and her mom took her to the hospital.

Rising Actions: Her father was teaching Jeannette how to swim and her dad let her go and she almost drowned. Another one would be when Jeannette got thrown out of the Green Caboose on the side of the railroad and the rest of her family drives, but they end up coming back. At the bar, Jeannette's father tries and prostitutes her for his own good. That made her think he didn't care about her brother or sisters or herself at all.

Climax: When Jeannette and her father's relationship was ruined. Rex beat Jeannette with his belt for talking back to her mom and that was when Jeannette ran off into the woods and wanted to leave for New York as soon as possible.

Falling Actions: Her father breaks the piggy bank, which causes Laurie to leave for New York. Another one would be when Jeannette leaves for New York as well which shows she isn't scared of her father.

Resolution: The family splits apart and goes their separate ways. Jeannette got married and then got a divorce and moves. She finally finds peace with her past and her present.


Jeannette: The main character and narrator. Success and chances in the outside world is what motivates her. She is very mature for her age. She's always trying to motivate and push her parents to stop living the way they are and to get their life together. She grew up depending on only herself.

Rex(dad): The father of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen Walls. He cares about his family, but alcohol is more important to him. He is very intelligent without alcohol, but alcohol destroys him and causes conflict between his family and him. Alcohol and his family motivates him the most. Rex is important because he was the leader when it came to skedaddling and throughout the book he showed what weakness was and what forgiveness is all about.

Rose Mary(mom): The mother of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen Walls. She loves art. She is motivated by her own desires. She shows selfishness through out the book because she doesn't help her family raise money. She puts herself before others. She is mainly self-centered. Rose Mary is important because she was one of the antagonist.


Battle Mountain, Nevada:Mary Rose works as a teacher and Jeannette and Brian spent a long time exploring the desert.

Welch, West Virginia: The children meet their grandparents and Uncle Stanley.

New York City: Jeannette gets a job and moves out into an apartment with Lori.


“I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.”  meaning that at any time the world could fall apart, but by knowing that, it made you keep on moving forward and never stopping. It's important because no matter how hard the world you live gets, you can't give up.

“Things usually work out in the end."
"What if they don't?"
"That just means you haven't come to the end yet.” meaning that all things are possible and everything will work out in the end. It's important because it's telling you to never give up. There are so many opportunities and if things aren't getting better, then the end isn't coming anytime soon. All things are worked out in the end.

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