The Glass Castle

a story by Jeannette Walls


Forgive and Forget

At the end of the story the kids have to forget what their parents did in the past and forgive them and let them in now that they can provide for themselves. For example, when Lori was a kid her parents couldn't afford food a lot, but in the end Lori lets mom and dad live in her apartment while they are struggling.


The Walls family goes through hardship throughout the story with money and jobs. Rex can't keep a job longer than up to three months, and without money the family needs to learn how to live off of little foods here and there. Without money they cannot keep a house for very long.



At the beginning of the story, the narrator, Jeannette is riding home in a taxi in New York when she sees her mother digging through the trash. After that the book sets back to her past life as a child.

Rising Action

Throughout the story there is an idea of having a better life and leading things in the right direction. Rex keeps the families hope by trying to build the glass castle. Rex also keeps the hope of having a better home, food to eat , and nice clothes for his family.

Falling Action

Lori moves to New York to start her own life. After Jeanette moves to New York to live with Lori and starts writing for different newspapers. Brian moved to New York after Jeanette to become a police officer, something he has always wanted to do. Maureen moves there last to go to high school.


The whole family lives in New York, except for Maureen who moved to California. Brian and Jeanette both start their own families. Dad dies from a disease. All three kids in New York have their own jobs. Rose becomes head of squatters.


The Children move to New York. Soon after their mom and dad come live in New York but become homeless.


Jeannette Walls- Jeanette is the narrator throughout the story.  She is always telling her mom and dad to go out and find jobs so they have money to support the family. She is an important part in the story because she is the only one of the four children who actually has faith in her father when things get hard. She has long hair, and is the second child. She is the only one who believes in her fathers dreams of building the Glass Castle.

Dad- Rex Walls is the father of the four children and is married to Rose Mary. Rex is determined to build the Glass Castle and do as much for his children as possible to keep them happy. He hopes that one day the blueprints  will turn into the Castle. He carries most of the weight on his back of the family. He drinks to try to get the fact that he can't provide for his family off of his mind. He is very important in the story because he demonstrates how you can still be a good father even if you can't give your kids everything.

Mom- Rose Mary is the mother of the four children. She is married to Rex Walls. She is a lover of art and wants to own her own studio. She is constantly painting and drawing what she sees. She is a good role model for her children because she demonstrates how even when things get rough with her husband she never leaves. She has a job as a teacher and keeps it until the family has to do the skedaddle. She is always reminded how she has no money to buy food for her children, or clothes and sometimes even a house.


Important Quotes

β€œI was sitting in a taxi wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.” - Jeanette Walls

β€œIn my mind, Dad was perfect, although he did have what Mom called a bit of a drinking situation.” -Jeanette Walls

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