The Glass Castle Study Guide

The Glass Castle Study Guide

Original title:
The Glass Castle
January 17th 2006 by Scribner (first published March 2005)
New York City, New York (United States) West Virginia (United States)
ISBN 074324754X (ISBN13: 9780743247542)

Jeanette Walls managed to write a memoir that for more than 250 weeks was part of The New York Times Bestseller list. Since 2005 “The Glass Castle” sold millions of copies and even made it into a movie. 

The plot of the book is very non-trivial. It all begins with a 4-year old girl making herself sausages for breakfast. As a result of an accident, she ends up in the hospital. It’s expected that a young girl would be bored and sad on the hospital bed, but in fact, these are the most joyful memories of her childhood. 

Her mind will always remember the contrast between her ordinary life in a trailer in a middle of nowhere and a luxurious (as it seemed for the girl) medical facility where she is given food and comfort. 

From the very first pages, the reader gets to like the girl and we can’t help wondering about her irresponsible parents. There’s this feeling of a need to protect the girl from her heartless family. But nothing is as simple as it seems. As the events unfold we realize that some of the parents’ actions and words make sense. They are not performing up to the standard, but are right to some extent. Once again it is a vivid example that life isn’t only black and white. 

This adds to the ambiguousness of the book interpretation. There’s always this fine line between having a privilege to have a family and being a child that lacks attention and love. At the end, all the four children end up living a decent life despite the hardships of their childhood. 

It is a book that describes a castle of lies, disappointment, and grief. At some point, it can make you sick from the harsh reality described. But nothing is as sobering and eye-opening as this text. With very simple words the author describes a very complex phenomenon our society experiences today. 

New Essays

Essay on the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle The Glass Castle, written by Jeannette Walls, is an autobiographical novel that shows how hard life can be when you have little to no money and highly deteriorated parents. During the whole memoir it shows how hard it is to live in poverty while at the same time trying to raise a...

The Glass Castle Passage Analysis

Anne Wang Ms. Perez 5th period January, 10, 2013 The Glass Castle Passage Analysis It was a very touching story: the Glass Castle, in which author Jeannette Walls tells the world about her greatly influential past. This passage I chose reveals one of the most significant characters in her life...

Stereotypes/ the Glass Castle

Final Draft Stereotypes/ The Glass Castle Stereotype plays a big part in today’s society. In the Memoir “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, others would easily misjudge Jeannette’s family just by their image and the way they lived their life. Although they lived the way they did the walls...

"The Glass Castle"- Generational Curses

Throughout The Glass Castle, one can see the generational curses of sins of the father. Jeannette’s parents were part of a cycle of alcoholism, anger and depression. Throughout the book one can see all the parts of the generational curses thorough Rex Walls, Rose Mary, Jeannette and her siblings...

See all essays