AP English Language and Composition
Periods 4 and 5
13 October 2012
The Love of a Child
The excerpt from Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle shows a nonjudgmental child, who just wants to be fed on a day to day basis. She and her three siblings would be hungry, because her mother was too stubborn to work, and her father was a drunk and a dreamer, which isn’t a good combination. Even when her father dangles her mother out of the window in front of the entire population of Battle Mountain, she still keeps her positive outlook on life. At some points in the story, her willing ignorance brings me to anger. Walls’s tone is indifferent, in her memoir The Glass Castle, excluding certain points in the excerpt, where she portrays her anger.
Her tone throughout the excerpt is nonchalant, and in some places optimistic. Even when her brother loses hope and is disappointed in her for still believing in him, her opinion doesn’t waver. Only once in the entire excerpt is her anger obvious. “ And that made me wonder if she had stolen the can of corn the night before, which got me a little mad. .. ‘I was hungry’” (Walls 69). No one expects her to say this, and then all hell breaks loose. Mom goes out the window, and the kids are the laughing stocks of Battle Mountain. There was rarely lunch for them to actually bring to school.
Even when her mother does not want to work, she still keeps her nonchalant tone. Her mother has a teaching degree, but does not want to help support the family. She feels that if she does, then she is admitting her failure as an artist. When she does actually start teaching, her children do almost everything to help her keep her job.
Her purpose in writing this memoir was to come to terms with her past. I can imagine that her childhood was very traumatic, looking back on it as an adult. For her to write a narrative describing her childhood was extremely brave, considering she could have been rejected by...