The Glass Castle Essay

The Glass Castle Essay-52
Her mother is drawn less favorably and it is difficult to know if this is because she was as monstrous as she appears or because Jeannette the author is less forgiving of her. Consider the title and explain how representative it is of the work as a whole.The reference to the Glass Castle comes about from the dream of Jeannette’s father to construct such a building for the family.At times, the litany of gothic misfortune recalls Harry Crews's classic memoir, "A Childhood." The two books have striking similarities; both, for example, feature the horrific scalding of a child.

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He showed us how to aim and fire his pistol, how to shoot Mom's bow and arrows, and how to throw a knife by the blade so that it landed in the middle of a target with a satisfying thwock." Walls recalls that "by the time I was 4, I was pretty good with Dad's pistol, a big black six-shot revolver, and could hit five out of six beer bottles at 30 paces. But what's best is the deceptive ease with which she makes us see just how she and her siblings were convinced that their turbulent life was a glorious adventure.

In one especially lovely scene, Rex takes his daughter to look at the starry desert sky and persuades her that the bright planet Venus is his Christmas gift to her.

The memoir offers a catalog of nightmares that the Walls children were encouraged to see as comic or thrilling episodes in the family romance. agents), the family made a getaway so hasty that Dad felt compelled to toss Jeannette's recalcitrant cat out the car window.

Pursued by bill collectors (or, as Rex claimed, conspiratorial F. Bitten by a scorpion, 4-year-old Lori suffered convulsions.

Even as she describes how their circumstances degenerated, how her mother sank into depression and how hunger and cold -- and Rex's increasing irresponsibility, dishonesty and abusiveness -- made it harder to pretend, Walls is notably evenhanded and unjudging.

READERS will marvel at the intelligence and resilience of the Walls kids.

Rose Mary Walls, a painter, writer, free spirit and self-styled "excitement addict," entertained certain convictions about life in general and parenthood in particular that, all too predictably, helped pave the road to grief and disaster.

Reared by a mother who believed that kids should be left alone to reap the educational and immunological benefits of suffering, Jeannette Walls, her brother and two sisters rapidly discovered that their peripatetic, hardscrabble life -- constantly moving from one bleak, dusty Southwestern mining town to another -- had no end of painful lessons to teach them.

The idea sounds preposterous and unlikely, to build a castle made of glass, and yet her father drew up plans and blueprints to bring this about.

This tension between impossible dream and everyday reality (where it is unlikely that such a castle will be built) typifies the upbringing Jeannette had.

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