The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls



Jeannette's mom would not accept charity from anyone. She wouldn't get government help. Her dad didn't want to accept Jeannette's Christmas gifts because he felt he should be taking care and giving her daughter anything and everything she needed not the other way around.


Even though the Walls family isn't the best or the sanest, they still showed evidence of love. When Lori moved out she housed her brother and sisters. The dad showed love when he tried to become sober for Jeannette. He also expressed it when he gave her money for her to finish college.



In the beginning of the story Jeannette is cooking hot dogs and her dress catches fire. When she gets admitted into the hospital you begin to learn how the family isn't completely normal. Her mom gets angry when she discovers the nurse gave Jeannette chewing gum. Her father does the "skedaddle" and checks her out of the hospital early.

Rising Action

The Walls leave California in the middle of the night in the car and while they are driving Jeannette falls out of the car. They get to their new home in Battle Mountain. They move from Battle Mountain to Phoenix and Jeannette gets raped by a little boy named Billy. Jeannette doesn't tell anyone. Billy gets mad that she doesn't want to be his girlfriend so he goes to her house with a gun. Lori shoots him back. They then move to Welch with Rex's grandma because he can't keep a job.


Erma dies. The family gradually moves to New York. Jeannette gets a job as a newspaper writer, Brian becomes a cop, and Lori becomes a game board and calender designer.

Falling Action

Jeannette gets married to a guy named Eric and then later to John. They live happily together. Brian gets married and they all keep their jobs. Mom and dad live in an abandoned building.


The Walls family come together for Thanksgiving and Dad dies of a heart attack. Mom still lives in the abandoned building and the kids continue their jobs.The family continues to live normally.



Jeannette is the 2nd oldest child of the Walls family. She loves her dad and he motivates her. She has had a rough life but still didn't complain. Jeannette is the narrator and she is leader of the household for the most part.


Rex Walls. Jeannette motivates him. When she wanted him to stay sober, he tried. Rex is a drunk and gambles. He gets odd jobs and has trouble keeping them. He doesn't like to think that he can't support his family. He is a big influence on the story.


Rosemary Walls. She thinks mostly of herself and has strange qualities for a mother. She is an artist and occasionally she will get a job as a teacher against her will.


Important Quotes

“One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.” - Rosemary Walls

The Walls family has gone through a lot and through that has become better.

“If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim”  -Rex Walls

This quote says if you don't want to die then you better learn how to help yourself. The kids had to learn how to get by.

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