The Glass Castle

By: Jeannette Walls



Throughout the book, Jeannette's parents constantly fail to care for her and her two siblings properly. The Walls family were constantly moving from place to place, hardly ever had enough food to eat, and when they had money the father, Rex, would spend it all on gambling or alcohol.


In the book Jeannette is always forgiving of the mistakes her mother and father make .  This theme is expressed when Jeannette's father was teaching her to swim and just threw her into the water, not letting her learn gradually. After this happened she let it go and forgave her father.



The Glass Castle begins with Jeannette Walls seeing her mother in a dumpster in New York City while Jeannette was in a taxi. After this she goes into her earliest childhood memories.

Rising Actions-

Jeannette is telling stories of her childhood, and as doing so she discovers who her family really is. Throught the book her and her family moved to many new towns. Jeannette thinks very highly of her father in her early life but as she gets older, she begins to dilike him for his actions. Her family was almost always short on money, causing them to not have much food, or home they could stay in for long.


Jeannette is tired of dealing with things at home in Welch, so she decided to move away from her family to live with her sister, Lori, in New York. Her parents where upset with her decision, but she went anyways.

Falling Actions-

While Jeannette is in New York she attended collage, had a place to stay, and had a job. Eventually all of her siblings moved to New York to join her and her sister. Then after all the children moved to New York her parents, Rex and Rose Mary, also moved to New York; although they lived on the streets until they found a squatters house to stay at.


In the end Jeannette got married. Although her father died other family.she stayed in contact with her other family.


Jeannette Walls-

Jeannette Walls is the main character of The Glass Castle and the novel is from her point of view. She is motivated my always wanting to do her best. The baggage that Jeannette has is not wanting to let her father down although he is always disappointing her.

Rex Walls-

Rex Walls is the father of Jeannette and her siblings. The thing that motivates him is making money. Rex carries a lot of baggage with him, he's an alcoholic and a gambler causing him to not be able to properly care for his family. He helped to shape Jeannette into the person she is today by the things that he did in her childhood.

Rose Mary Walls-

Rose Mary is the mother to Jeannette and her three siblings. She is motivated by her passion for art. Rose Mary is dragged down by the depression of not having all the necessities she needs. She is important because she greatly influenced Jeannette and her siblings because of the way she was when they where children.


Tucson, AZ-

This is where Jeannette was born.

Las Vegas, NV-

The Walls family lived in a hotel in Vegas where the dad gambled a lot to get the family money.

San Diego, CA-

The Walls family moved to San Diego and lived in a hotel while there, the stayed there until they got fed up with being there then moved back to the desert.


Midland, CA-

Jeannette and her Family live in Midland for a while in a run down house. Midland i sin the middle of the desert, but that's where Jeannette's parents like to live.

Blythe, CA-

Another place is California, the family moved to Blythe and stayed in an apartment while there. Jeannette was one of the smartest girls in her school, but this got her beaten up multiple times by a group of girls from her school.

Battle Mountain, NV-

In Battle Mountain the family lives in another run down house with no furniture forcing them to make or find their own. The Walls are neighbors with many other low income families while living here.

Phoenix, AZ-

Jeannette grandmother had passed away and the family inherited her large house in Phoenix. While there the Walls family lived nicely, Re. This soon caused their house to become run down fast.

Welch, WV-

After leaving Phoenix, the Walls moved to Welch, in with their other grandparents. Things at their house where strict, and this soon got them kicked out of the house making them have to find another house. They soon found another house, although it was very run down with the porch falling apart and the ceiling caving in.

New York, NY-

The first person to move to New York was Jeannette's sister Lori, soon followed by Jeannette. There they lived in a nice apartment and had jobs. Within the following years the rest of the Walls family gradually moved there also.

Important Quotes

"If you don't wan to sink you'd better figure out how to swim" -Rex Walls (page 66)

This quote was spoken by Jeannette's father while he was trying to teach her how to swim, and he had just thrown her into the water for her to learn by herself and didn't help her. Besides the literal meaning of the quote, it was Rex's way of showing Jeannette that if she didn't take care learn to do things on her own, then she will never learn to survive.

"Just remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" -Rose Mary Walls (page 179)

This quote is said by Jeannette's mother to her sister Lori. Throughout the novel you could tell that being in the Wall's family required you to be tough, this quote showed that the mother understood that and was trying to teach this to her daughter.

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