Forgiveness is when you let go of someones harmful actions towards you. We see Forgiveness in the Glass Castle when Jeannette is trying to learn how to swim and her father drops her in the water and she is close to drowning.


Neglect is also another theme in the Glass Castle. Neglect is the failure to take care or showing little attention to someone or something. This is shown when The Walls parents allow their three year old daughter cook hot dogs by herself. This resulted into a fire and she was hospitalized for a few days.



The story begins with Jeannette riding in the back of a taxi on her way to an event. She takes a look out the window and sees her mother digging through trash. Although her mother has been homeless for years she begins to feel shame on her mothers life and thinks about her parents decisions had on her life as a kid. The book takes you from Jeannette's early life to her present.

Rising action

The rising action is the the talk about how the Walls family will have a better life later in the future. The family were believing that Rex will get the money to build the glass castle from his blueprints he made up with Jeannette. The thought of a better life stays in the family's heads constantly.

Falling action

Lori was one of the first ones to move to New York. Later Jeannette came along and also moved to New york. Jeannette was writer for different newspapers. Brian also moved up to New york and joined the police force. Brian being in the police force was a dream of his. Maurrean was the last child in the book. She moved to New York along with her other siblings. She went to high school there and later moved in with her parents who which were still homeless.


Lori, Jeannette, Brian, and Rose all lived in New York. Brian and Jeannette moved on with their own lives, while Maurrean lived in California. Rex had died of an incurable disease. Rose became the head of the squatters.



Jeannette is the narrator of the story and also the second oldest in the Walls family. What really motivates Jeannette is her fathers plan to build a glass castle and that they will never live a life of struggle ever again. Jeannette struggles with the baggage of always not knowing whats going to happen to her or her family next, or how her parents spend their money on useless things. Jeannette is important to the book because she shows the most faith in her dad and gives her family hope.


Rose Mary Walls is the mother of all the children in the book. Rose is most motivated by her artwork. She wants to become an artists for her job and does whatever it takes to get that. Rose carries the baggage of not caring for her children like a normal mom should. She is important to the book because she keeps the family together by not leaving her husband.


Rex Walls is the dad of the children in the book and the husband of Rose. What motivates Rex the most is his dream of building the glass castle someday and get his family out of their everyday struggle to survive. Rex deals with the baggage of never being able to stay in one place, and drinking his worries away. Dad is important to the book because he never gives up on his plans for his familys future, no matter how bad things get.


New York is where the Walls family all ended up at the end of the book.

Arizona is where the Walls moved to so they can live in a house that was inherited by Rose.

Important Quotes

"If you don't want tot sink, then you better figure out how to swim." Pg.66

Rex throws Jeannette into the water trying to teach her how to swim but Jeannette is nearing to drown every time. I think Rex is trying to teach her how to deal with challenges, even life threatening ones.

"We are not poor." Pg. 121

A woman is giving the Walls family a ride when their car broke down. The woman keeps mentioning the word "poor" and Jeannette takes offense to it. Jeannette then claims that her family isn't poor. I think Jeannette says that because she dosent want to let her family think negative of themselves or be labeled as something as society sees them.

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