The Glass Castle

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In most families children look for guidance parents, in the memoir The Glass Castle written by Jeannette Walls, the opposite seems to hold true. Jeannette and her siblings were given virtually no rules to follow, or standards to be held to. They were often dirty, hungry, and left to fend for themselves by their self proclaimed “excitement addict” parents. Luckily Walls was able to turn potential tragedy to triumph by using her common sense when it mattered the most. Usually characters develop during the duration of a book, but Walls remains the same throughout.

At just three years old Jeannette finds herself in the kitchen cooking hot dogs because she is hungry, and knows if she doesn’t cook them she will stay hungry . The book is opened with Jeannette’s first memory; being on fire. Unlike most three year olds would, she handled the even with grace and even went right back to cooking hot dogs when she was released from the hospital. Once again, not because she wanted to, but because she knew that’s what would keep her fed. “Good for you, you can’t live in fear of something as basic as fire” (Walls 15) is how Jeannette’s mother responded when she saw her cooking. If she ever thought that her life would be “normal” that thought was put to rest at that very moment.

Going into her teenage years, Jeannette parents confirmed their irresponsibility, and the idea was solidified that if she wanted to get out of Welch she would have to do it herself. Walls was by no means selfish, but she knew what need to be done. She babysat and did other kids homework, tutored kids, and even picked up a job at a local jewelry store. “People got stuck in Welch. I had been counting on Mom and Dad to get us out, but I now knew I had to do it on my own. It would take a lot of saving an planning.” (Walls 221). Unlike other people Jeannette knew what it take, and wasn’t going to wait around for someone to rescue her. She knew she was going to be successful, and that’s just what she...
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