The Glass Castle

The story of Jeannette Walls

Struggle

The Walls family experiences struggle throughout this book. Dad is a drunk who steals money and their mother is an "adventurist" and an artist who refuses to make money by a real living . The Walls children make their own sacrifices by starving, fighting for one another, and learning on their own.

Strength

Jeannette and her Siblings learn the quality of being strong by fending for themselves throughout the story. After good intentions repetitively turn into empty promises Jeannette learns to rely on herself if she wants things to go her way. 

Plot

Introduction: At the beginning of the story Jeannette Walls is in New York City on her way to a party. When she sees her mother roaming through the garbage she makes the taxi stop and she heads back to her apartment.

Rising Action: Rex Walls struggles at keeping his jobs. Throughout the story the Walls family does the "Skedaddle". When living in Welch because Rex Walls lost his first, second, and third job in Phoenix. The family is so poor they move into their grandmother, Erma Wall's home until they find a home of their own causing Rex to drink more and more on a drinking binge and leaving his family for days to gamble at bars.

Climax: A major climax in this story is when Brian, Jeannette, and Lori (and eventually Maureen) move to New York City and leave their parents behind. Each sibling becomes successful in finding jobs and Jeannette goes to a university. Eventually Rex and Rose Mary come to New York and rely on their children to take care of them for awhile and then the parents are back on to streets again.

Falling Action:Jeannette becomes successful and marries a man named Eric and divorces him and marries another man named John Taylor who is a writer too. Brian became a cop and has a wife and child, Lori works for a cartoon and gaming company drawing for them. They are all successful and living on their own and Lori visits her parents regularly. Maureen stabs her mother and moves to California after she is out of a mental hospital. Rex and Rosemary live in a rundown apartment in a bad area.

Resolution: Rex Walls dies at the end of the story from a heart attack at the age of 59. The next time the family gets together is Thanksgiving. Jeannette is living with her husband, Lori and Rose Mary live together, and Brian lives with his wife and daughter. They celebrate at Brian's house and make a toast to Rex Walls. They stay successful and live normal lives like they have always wanted.

Characters

Jeannette: Jeannette is the oldest of her 3 siblings. She is very tall and lanky and has red hair. Throughout the book she becomes self sufficient and reliant on herself instead of her parents. She takes care of her siblings and helps them find food, stay clean, and keep healthy. She is the only one in her family that believes in her father and slowly loses hope as she gets older.

Dad (Rex Walls): Rex Walls is the father of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen. He has favoritism to his daughter Jeannette. He has high hopes in becoming wealthy and is an alcoholic that cannot maintain a steady job or his money. When he is cannot provide for his family anymore they pack up their things and do the "skedaddle".

Mom (Rose Mary Walls):Rose Mary Walls is a free spirit artist that love painting. She comes from a family of wealth but refuses to use it to her families benefit. She displays depression and selfishness when crying and hiding money to buy chocolate for her "sweet tooth" while her own kids starve. She loves her family but only after who own needs are taken care of first.

Settings

Important Quotes

Jeannette: "I didn't have the answers to those questions, but what I did know was that 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" (Page 34).

Dad: "That was the thing to remember about all the monsters, Dad said: They love to frighten people, but the minute you stare them down, they turn tail and run. 'All you have to do, Mountain Goat, is show old Demon that you're not afraid'" (Page 36).

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