Austin L. and Khai H.


The Glass Castle is a book which has touched people everywhere. This true story is amplified by the attention grabbing, yet easy to read technique of the author Jeanette Walls. At its furthest point from the present, the book takes place in the early 60's when Jeanette was only three years old. We then are taking on a roller coaster of an adventure observing Jeanette's life through her point of view up to the present time. During this time there was much financial stress on poorer Americans which could attribute but not justify the alcoholism of her father. While being a tragic story the book has a positive light shone on it with the success of Jeanette when she grows up. This exemplifies exactly how even in the worst of situations, everyone has the potential for great things.

Literary Movement

The book could very well fit into the Modernism movement because of its straightforward details and the minimal emotions that show up in the writing. While it is not known how the book was received or how it effected other literature, what is known is that it shows an important characteristic in the American mentality. The idea that America is the place of opportunity is perfectly reflected in this piece. The fact that the book is non-fiction only strengthens this.

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Jeanette walls was born in Phoenix Arizona, and she was the daughter of Rex who rarely had a steady job, and enjoyed drinking to a point where it would sometimes hurt the family. Rose Mary, Jeanette’s mother was an aspiring artist, who also did not make that much of an income. For short periods of time she would teach at local school, but she wouldn't stay motivated enough to work because of her “addiction to excitement”. Jeanette had two sisters and a brother that faced many of the same issues Jeanette would face. Some of the issues that Jeanette and her family had to deal with were being poor, moving houses multiple times, their father’s drunken habits, and abuse from kids and other family members. The stresses that she face at home cause her to leave home and travel to New York where her sister also was staying after deciding to run away as well. Her mother and father try to live in New York for a while too, but were forced to live in the streets with the homeless population. Since high school she was fascinated with writing. She worked hard at her writing and became later became a journalist for MSNBC.
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How the book reflected something important about society?

The book had reflected on many issues that are important for society. One huge theme in the book is family. Jeanette obviously loved her family members, but sometimes it was hard for her to do. Her father would get drunk and waste the scarce supply of money on alcohol, cigarettes and many other unknown things. She had a close bond to her brothers and sisters, they all shared a sense of protection, they knew they had to stick together and protect each other. Also, during the time period there was some racism. The would be times where family members would plain out state their views on race, or times where it was unusual for a certain race to be at a certain place mixing with other races. Areas deferred on how racist they were, but the most racist household they lived in was in Welch, West Virginia, where their own family members discouraged interacting with other races. Another huge issue was poverty, and how hard it was to grow up in with a poverty stricken family. There were many times where they were all hungry and digging through trash to delay their hunger, and it would seem that their parents would not help the situation and either sit at home without a job, or plain out disappear for a few nights.

Jeannette Walls [video]. (2007). Retrieved January 11, 2013
Our creative project. (Kaury show) The subject being whether or not Rex is a good father

This is a video of Jeanette Walls reading parts of the first chapter, and the video shows her mother.

Jeannette Walls [video]. (2007). Retrieved January 11, 2013
Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle. London: Virago, 2005. Print.
This book was a memoir so majority of the information comes directly from the book.