“The Glass Castle”written by Jeannette Walls
Select only ONE of the following themes and write a 2-page analysis to explain how this theme is developed in the book. Use at least one or two quotes or passages to support your explanation
Select only ONE of the following themes and write a 2-page analysis to explain how this theme is developed in the book. Use at least one or two quotes or passages to support your explanation. Your paper should be double-spaced with 1? margins on all sides.
The Glass Castle: The title of the book and a major theme within it, the Glass Castle represents Rex’s hope for a magical, fantastic life in which he can provide for his family and please his children. Rex lays out plans for the Glass Castle, including detailed dimensions for each of the children’s rooms, but he never actually builds the castle. For a long time Jeannette believes that he will but she gives up on the hope after the hole they dig for the foundation of the Glass Castle is filled with garbage. Though the physical structure is not erected, the symbol the Glass Castle represents remains with Jeannette in her childhood and helps her to believe that her father will do what he promises. When she discovers that this is not always true and realizes that the Glass Castle will never actually be built, she has reached adulthood.
Fire: Fire resurfaces frequently as a theme in The Glass Castle. As Jeannette suspects, it follow her around, becoming a fixture in her life. The very first, and perhaps most pivotal fire inspires Jeannette’s first memory, of being burned while cooking hot dogs at the age of three. Though she suffers extreme injuries, fire becomes a fixation for Jeannette, who cannot keep herself from playing with it and watching it. The work contains a number of other fires that claim houses, sheds, and injure other characters. It can be said to represent a trend of chaos that is both natural and staged by man. The theme of fire relates closely to other themes concerning nature and pollution that also appear in the memoir.
Self Sufficiency: Even during their hardest times, Rex and Rose Mary Walls refuse to become charity cases. They do not even accept help from their children in their late adulthood. The value of being self sufficient descends mainly from Rose Mary Walls, whose upbringing in an incredibly disciplined home leads her to forgo the rules when she becomes a mother. Her children, she insists, must learn how to be self sufficient and strong. They should not rely on society or doctors or anything else to help them through life. Even when they fall ill or injure themselves, Rose Mary prefers to treat the wound at home rather than cater to what she considers a false need to visit the hospital. Though the Walls value self sufficiency they are not always able to maintain it, and sometimes their methods are not sufficient for survival at all.
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