The Glass Castle Summary Essay

1311 words - 6 pages

The book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls tells the story of Jeannette and her family. Jeannette certainly did not have the easiest life growing up, but she may have had one of the most interesting. I enjoyed the book because the experiences that Jeanette and her family went through make for a very exciting read. These experiences are out of the ordinary and don't represent how a typical American family would live.
Jeannette was born into a rather peculiar family. She had a mother and father, and two older siblings, but the way that the family lived made them peculiar. Her parents were not the most cautious of her well being. They believed that their kids should be able to take care of ...view middle of the document...

At the end of the story it seems like Jeannette is living a pretty good life. She lives with her second husband, John, in an old country farmhouse (285). Walls ends the story with the image of almost her whole family happily having thanksgiving dinner.
The main characters of the story consist of everyone in the Walls family. Jeannette Walls is the author and protagonist of the book. She is portrayed as a strong person even as a young child. When her 'friend' Billy Deel came and shot up her house with his BB gun Jeannette was not afraid to take her father's pistol and shoot at him to scare him off (88). When she gets beaten up by a few of the other girls in her school she shakes it off and nonchalantly tells her dad that it was "just a little dustup" (88). Jeanette's older sister Lori is not as tough as Jeannette, but was not afraid of danger. She was the one that got her father's pistol when Billy Deel came and started shooting them. She even fired a shot at him (88). Lori did not like to go adventuring, something that Jeannette loved to do with her older brother Brian. Brian was a tough outdoorsy type who ended up becoming a detective. Him and Jeannette would always go outside and enjoy nature. Jeanette also had a younger sister, Maureen. Living in the Walls family would be hard for anyone, but Maureen took it the hardest. Early in life she would have terrible nightmares of people breaking into their house and her life just went downhill from there. While Maureen was living in her parents squat in New York, her mom said that she wanted her to leave. Maureen, being the unstable person that she was, stabbed her mother. She was sentenced to a upstate hospital and after a year of living there she immediately moved to California, never to be seen again in the book (276).
The mother and father of the Walls family can be considered the antagonists of the book based on how they held down their children by deciding to live such peculiar lifestyles. Although they were not bad people, and did not mean to hold their children down, their destructive habits made them bad parents. Rex Walls, the father, was practically a deadbeat alcoholic who barely contributed to the family. He had odd jobs every once in a while but he never really had enough money to support the family very well. Most of the money he did have went to support his alcohol addiction.
Mary Walls, the mother, was not really much better. Although she was not an alcoholic like her husband, she did not bring in much money either. Occasionally she would get teaching jobs, since she went to college and had a teaching degree, but...

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