The Glass Castle

The struggle of growing up



Jeannette always forgives her mom and dad for their mistakes and finds a way to love them like she always has. Forgiveness for her makes her less angry and makes her have a more positive attitude on everything. She firsts starts forgiving them when she burned herself when she was three, and her mom did not take care of her. She also forgives her father every time he gets drunk and acts up around other people and his family.


Fearlessness is a theme of this book because its a major trait that the children have through the whole book. After all the moving they went through their whole life they were never scared that things wouldn't be okay. Also, they weren't afraid to make new friends and weren't even worried about fitting in or not.



The Glass Castle is about a family that moved from place to place in poverty. Jeannette tells about all of the struggles they went through to get where they are today.

Rising Actions

Jeannette's parents leave her alone at the hospital and go to the fair while she is suffering severe burns, and tell her that they won a trip and went on it without her and had a really fun time.

Jeannette was learning to swim when her father drops her in the water and almosts lets her drown, and he claimed that if he didn't almost let her drown she wouldn't of learned how to swim.

Jeannette's father tries and prostitutes her for his own good at the bar. This made her feel like she couldn't trust her dad, and doesn't even care for her at all.


The climax of this book is when Jeannette's father beats her with a belt. This happened because Jeannette was back talking her mother. This broke the relationship between her and her father majorly, because she never really thought that he would do it. After it she convinced herself that it wouldn't happen again.

Falling Actions

Jeannette's father breaks the piggy bank, which causes even more damage to their relationship. Even causes Lori to leave the house and go to New York.

When Jeannette moves to New York and it shows her dad that she isn't afraid anymore and is willing to take risks.

Jeannette's dad dies of a major heart attack, and this crushes the whole family with them not even knowing what to do next.


Jeannette is now living on a farm with her husband John and kid. Lori is a artist in New York. The mom is on the streets picking through trash and has no life anymore. Brian is now a police officer, and Maureen moved to California and does drugs.


Jeannette Walls

Jeannette is the main character in the story and the narrator. Her father motivates her I think a lot throughout the story. The baggage she carries is the lack of clothes and cleanliness. She is very adventurous and is always looking for something new.

Rosemary Walls (Mom)

Rosemary is the selfish mother of the family who brings her own baggage with her and passes it on to her children. She loves her family but only after her needs are met.

Rex Walls (father)

Rex is Jeannette's alcoholic father who manipulates and uses his wife and children for his own needs. But yet never stops loving them. He is significant in the story because he keeps the family going.


Important Quotes

"If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim." -Rex; Pg. 66

This quote was spoken by Jeannette's father. This was said when Jeannette was trying to learn how to swim. This was also a life lesson because he was trying to tell her that if she doesn't take care of herself she will never learn to survive on her own.

"Don't worry, God understands. He knows that your father is a cross we must bear." -Rosemary; Pg. 105

This quote was spoken by Jeannette's mother. This is significant because it shows Jeannette to never give up on family and keeps her hopes up about her father throughout the whole story.

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