The Glass Castle
About the author...
Rex Walls: He is the father of Jeannette, Lori, Maureen and Brian. He is a very smart man but is an alcoholic which causes a downfall in the family.
Rose Mary Walls: the mother of Jeannette, Lori, Maureen and Brian. She is a free spirit and an unsuccessful artist who favors her art over her children.
Brian Walls: the younger bother to Lori and Jeannette and older brother to Maureen. He has a very close relationship with both Lori and Jeannette.
Lori Walls: the oldest child out of four children. She comes up with the plan to move to New York City to escape her parents and eventually succeeds.
Maureen Walls: she is the youngest of all the siblings and is very distant from the family. She is beautiful but not self-sufficient and is perhaps the most "normal" one of the family.
After dinner the whole family stretched out on the benches and the floor of the depot and read, with the dictionary in the middle of the room so we kids could look up words we didn't know...Occasionally, on those nights when we were all reading together, a train would thunder by, shaking the house and rattling the windows. The noise was thunderous, but after we'd been there a while, we didn't even hear it.
This scene shows one of the few peaceful, bonding moments shared between the Walls family. The importance of this scene important in two ways. Firstly, it discredits stereotypes about the homeless being uneducated or dumb and shows that even those without money can be educated. Secondly, it shows how Jeannette becomes influenced at a young age by literature and is a possible explanation for her later interest in journalism. It is the parents' literary interest that ultimately saves the children, by giving them the education that allows them to escape their parents' life.
Readers will be amazed with the intelligence and resilience of the Walls kids. This is a good read for an individual who enjoys learning about the struggles of lower/working class American families or readers who can relate to the Walls' situations.
The Glass Castle - Annotations