Literary Analysis Of The Glass Castle

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It is commonly believed that the only way to overcome difficult situations is by taking initiative in making a positive change, although this is not always the case. The theme of the memoir the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is that the changes made in children’s lives when living under desperate circumstances do not always yield positive results. In the book, Jeannette desperately tries to improve her life and her family’s life as a child, but she is unable to do so despite her best efforts. This theme is portrayed through three significant literary devices in the book: irony, symbolism and allusion. Towards the middle of the memoir, the theme is shown through the irony of Jeannette’s mother’s situation as well as Jeannette’s feelings towards …show more content…

Rose Mary is a selfish woman and decides not to go to school some mornings because she does not feel up to it. Jeannette takes the initiative in making sure that her mother is prepared for school each morning because she knows how much her family needs money. Even though Rose Mary starts to go to school every day, she does not do her job properly and thus the family suffers financially again. When Maureen’s birthday approaches, Jeannette takes it upon herself to find a gift for her because she does not think their parents will be able to provide her with one. Jeannette says, “at times I felt like I was failing Maureen, like I wasn’t keeping my promise that I’d protect her - the promise I’d made to her when I held her on the way home from the hospital after she’d been born. I couldn’t get her what she needed most- hot …show more content…

When the family arrives in Welch, they notice that their newly purchased house is dull-looking and depressing, matching their moods when they first start living there. Jeannette notices that their glum house is contributing to their glum moods so she suggests painting the house yellow, a colour that is symbolic of happiness, to try and boost morale. Nobody in her family is willing to help so she paints by herself and notices an improvement in the look of their house. Unfortunately, she leaves the paint outside in the wintertime causing it to freeze, meaning that she is unable to finish painting the house. One day while playing outside, Jeannette and her brother stumble upon a diamond wedding ring lying on the ground. The wedding ring symbolizes hope to the children because they realize that it can be sold for a substantial amount of money. They bring the ring to their mother and tell her that, “it could get [them] a lot of food” (185), to which she replies, “but it could also improve my self-esteem. And at times like these, self-esteem is even more vital than food” (185). Rose Mary decides to keep the ring because she values her own selfish needs over the welfare of her children. Both the yellow paint and the ring represent positive changes for the family but neither of them ends up actually changing their

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the theme of the glass castle by jeannette walls is that the changes made in children’s lives when living under desperate circumstances do not always yield positive results.
  • Analyzes the irony of jeannette's mother, rose mary, and her feelings towards her sister, maureen.
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