Forgiveness is probably the most important theme in the Glass Castle because Jeanette and her siblings are always forgiving their parents throughout the memoir. Although their parents mistreated them, left them cold, provided them will barely any food, and made them walk around in dirty clothes, Jeanette always found say to forgive them even if they didn’t deserve forgiveness.
Jeanette lived in Welch for most of her teenage years. She lived in a horrible house, that had many leaks, crumby foundation, and the weather went from extreme lows to extreme highs. This is the time in her life when her parents are very vulnerable due to their environment. The children continue to lose faith in their parents and all four of them begin to separate from them.
|—||Rex tells Jeanette this when returning home after he has kidnapped her from the hospital. This would be situational irony because he is insisting she is safe although he just kidnapped her from one of the safest places she could be.|
“But despite all the hell raising and destruction and chaos Dad created in their lives, Jeannette cannot imagine what her life will be like … without him. As awful as he can be, she has always known he loves her in a way no one else ever has.”
Jeanette loves her father, although he has treated her horrible. This is a juxtaposition because Jeanette has completely contradicting feelings about her father.
|—||When driving Jeanette back him from the hospital, Rex brags to neighbors how Jeanette “fought the fire and won.” This literary device used is personification because the author is giving the fire human like qualities, as if Jeanette really “fought” the fire as if it were a person.|
When Jeanette is in the hospital due to the first fire incident, her Nurse gives her a piece of chewing gum. When Rosemary realizes Jeanette’s chewing gum, she doesn’t allow it because she believes it is a low-class habit. Ironically, In reality, they are low class people.
The Walls family are considered nonconformist. This meaning they do not need to conform to what society consideres normal. Rex and Rosemary tend to not take orders very well, which is the reason why they can’t keep a steady job. They believe that they can survive living by their own rules and own style and not what society believes they should be. The Walls family lifestyle is very similar to the Adams family lifestyle, in the sense that both families do not conform to society and have their own lifestyle that isn’t considered very normal.
Throughout the book Rex Walls is an alcoholic, but when the Walls family moves into Phoenix, his tendency to drink worsens. He begins to leave for days at a time and come home in a violent rage, picking fights with his kids and rosemary or just passing out on the couch without saying a word. Also, this is when the children begin to lose faith in their father.
After moving to Blythe, Rosemary finally gives birth to Maureen. She was born with blonde hair and blue eyes. Jeanette uses the word “beautiful” to describe her. Maureen is a very attractive baby and stands out from the rest of the Walls children, which are Jeanette, Lori, and Brian. In addition, there is a big gap between Brian (the youngest child before Maureen was born) and Maureen. As a result, she isolates herself from her family throughout her childhood.
Once Jeanette turns eight, Billy Deel move in to Battle Mountain. He is an eleven year old trouble maker that becomes attracted to Jeanette and begins to call her his girlfriend. Jeanette refuses to be his girlfriend and just wants to be friends. In attempt to change her mind, he gives her a ring. She accepts the ring but still refuses to be Billy’s girlfriend. He continues to call her his girlfriend and brags about her wearing his ring, insisting they’re going to get married. The ring symbolizes the innocence of young love. This video shows how innocent these children are when they like one another just like the beginning of Billy and Jeanette’s relationship.