Tenzing's Reviews > The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
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Mar 05, 2012

it was amazing

Tenzing Wangmo
12th grade
The Glass Castle is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls where she describes her entire journey of life full of surprises, sadness, joy, excitement and difficulties that she overcame so well. The characters in this book specially Jeanette and her father Rex Walls are described very well which makes the story even more interesting. Jeanette, the narrator who we see from her early childhood to adulthood is a very intelligent and a smart girl as she overcomes her poverty bravely that she had endured as a child. Rex Walls, her father on the other hand is an intelligent man, but highly alcoholic which gets him into many troubles but most important of all he loves his family very much.
Jeanette Walls is a normal girl who is tall and not very good looking. She was brought up in a poor family with an unusual way of living. She and her siblings have faced a lot of difficulties growing up, but learns to face them bravely according to situations. Her family never settled in one place, they kept wandering about like nomads living in forests, desert, town etc. There was once an incident when she was living in Arizona that she had burnt herself making hot dogs for her family. It was so serious that she had to be hospitalized, but her father thought it was useless so he took her home without being fully recovered. She was made to do the same work after she came back home from the hospital. She never had proper meals regularly. It often depended upon the family income, when there was more money they had enough to eat and when there was less money they had to survive on a stick of cheese, a bar of chocolate or sometimes they had to go to bed empty stomach. She and her siblings were home schooled by their parents which is why they were ahead of the children of their age. She was a very bright and intelligent child. After moving to Battle mountain where they went to school, it was a tough moment for her since the children bullied her for being poor, not having money to buy lunch or even not having food to eat during lunch. She often picked up food from the trash can to fill up her hungry stomach. Her father has correctly called her a mountain goat, as she is a tough young lady who has faced every difficult phase in her life bravely and without any complaints. She never separated out from her parents even though they gave her hard times and never brought her up in comfort.
Rex Wall, the father of Jeanette seems to be a very compelling and complex character. Even though his family always supported him and thought he would be a backbone for their family, he started loosing control of his family and faith in himself which made him addicted towards alcohol and slowly turned into a criminal. It can be assumed that since he did not have a very good childhood and was not brought up well which is why he makes the same mistake like his own parents in raising his kids and family. Rex cannot get rid of the families poverty and so he cannot provide all the things that is necessary for his family. He had promised his family that he would build a glass castle for them which he could not fulfill before he died instead made things harder for them. The only good thing he did was he educated all his children himself and gave them vast knowledge about various things happening in the world.
I feel very inspired with Jeanette's character how she supported her parents even though they never made an attempt to bring her up properly. She made full use of her education and became a world famous writer and overcame the miserable poverty that she had suffered during her childhood. On the other hand Rex Wall, though intelligent could not make use of it and failed badly in life. He could not fulfill one wish that he had promised that is to build a glass castle. He gave up in the end and depended on his family and alcohol to improve the situation.
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