The Glass Castle

Stephanie Pence


Forgiveness-It means condoning or excusing offenses. Throughout the unfolding of the memoir, each character must come to grips with the concept of forgiving each other.

Loyalty-It means staying true to your values. The walls children soon learn they must assimilate loyalty.


The Glass Castle chronicles the life of writer Jeanette Walls. When Jeanette is growing, she starts to realize what her life really is. For example, She fell out of the car and is left there with a broken bone. The climax occurs when Maureen becomes mentally incompetent and the family argues over who's to blame. In the end you realize why Jeanette starts the book off with the New York garbage rummaging scene. This is because in the end she realizes she has a difficult relationship with her parents.


Jeanette - is the author and the voice of the Glass Castle. Success and increased chances in the world outside of her is what motivated her. Her baggage was that she had the guts, tenacity, and intelligence to get out. She is important because she has reported for years on the movers and shakers in the most powerful city in the world.

Dad- father of Jeanette and Eve. He is motivated by his destructive nature. She felt he didn't have baggage and he was perfect in every way. He is significant because he grabs Jeanette from the hospital before she is released.

Mom- Mother of Jeanette and Eve. Jeanette says that mom is one of the people that motivated her to write her story. She carries her own baggage and passes it down through the family. She is significant because was homeless for a long time but still managed to take care of herself and raise a family and get a job and a house at the end.

Tucson, AZ: The birthplace of Jeanette Walls.

Las Vegas, NV: The Walls family lives in a motel here for about a month. Rex devises a way to make a lot of money in blackjack. He spends a lot of money on elaborate clothes and dinner for everybody. Rex gambling method is finally discovered by the casino staff the next day. The family has to perform " the skedaddle" and get out of town fast.

San Fransisco:  They stay in a hotel that is also brothel. Jeanette becomes more and more fascinated with fire, experimenting by setting pieces of toilet paper on fire in the toilet and then flushing them. A few nights later the hotel ironically catches on fire. Everyone escapes and waits in a bar across the street. The family moves out to the beach for a while and live in their car. They are eventually asked to leave by the police and decide they are, " fed up with civilization."

Midland CA: this is a town in the heart of a desert. Water comes in by train once a day because it is so remote. Rex wants to settle there thinking that it is better than any others. Jeanette thought she heard something under her bed so she tells her dad. He grabbed a knife and a pipe wrench and search for the " demon." Rex finds a job at a mine, and Mary becomes pregnant. They decide to move to a larger town when it is time for her to deliver.

Blithe, CA: The family lives in an apartment, and Jeanette goes to school. All of the kids take a lot of classes, But the teachers call her a teachers pet and call on her because she is tall and skinny. When she is walking home from school, 6 mexican girls beat her up. They wait for her again, but her brother Brian is there to back her up with a branch he picks up. The girls are not scared and begin to beat him up too. Jeanette picks up a rock and hits one of the girls heads, then her and her brother leave. They then go to an iceberg lettuce farm where they eat, and get dusted by a crop duster that flies over.

Battle Mountain, NV: The Walls move into a former depot station that has no furniture. The children sleep in refrigerator boxes and the family uses spools that hold industrial cables as tables and chairs. Rex gets a job and the family has a more less normal life for a while. But when Rex gets laid off, their lives get tougher. The kids have to resort to stealing food and Mary has to get a job as a teacher which she resents. Then theres billy....

Phoenix, AZ: They move into a house mary inherited from her mother that has 14 rooms and trees in the yard. Some old lady that gave them a ride refers to them as poor people when their car breaks down on their way to the Grand Canyon. Mary decides that they should move back to Welch, where Rex's parents are.

Welch, WV: Mary gets a job and Rex spends all his money on alcohol. Emma dies and uncle stanley burns down her house by falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Lori manages to get to New York through a babysitting offer and Jeanette follows her there for the end of her senior year in highschool.

New York, NY: The kids finally follow Lori when she moves out and goes to New York. All of her siblings follow her, eventually deserting their parents. Then both Rex and Mary move to New York in an attempt to be closer to their kids. Although they show up, they have no where to go an are homeless. They consider it nothing more than an adventure.

Important Quotes

1. "the most important thing in life, is learning how to fall" is important because it shows that no matter what life you live or how hard it is, you can always succeed because it just makes you stronger.


"I just stood there looking from one distorted face to another, listening to this babble of enraged squabble as the members of the Walls family gave vent to all their years of hurt and anger, each unloading his or her own accumulated grievances and blaming the others for allowing the most fragile one of us to break into pieces" is important because it explains and shows who the walls family really are.

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