The Glass Castle



“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

- Robert Kiyosaki

Final Thoughts

I think that after being able to live on their own and have a family of their own, they were really able to appreciate everything their parents have done for them, especially Rex Walls. He tried his best to support his family and at the same time dealing with his addiction. I do think it is a happy ending because in the end of the book they were able to live their lives and have a family. Especially in the end when Jeanette’s husband was able to recognize Rex’s attempt to make everything fun for the family. As the family talks about his escapade’s it reminds them of how much fun their father was even though he did have some of his own problems. Life is an adventure and their father truly lived up to that. In my perspective I do not think it is the cliche saying “they lived happily every after”. I think it would be cliche if their father was alive and everyone got was happily married and so on. Even though they were happy in the end, there were still some things missing. For example, Maureen was not there with them for the thanksgiving dinner and was not really there to bond with them ever she left for California except for her mom. I think if it really was a “happily ever after” ending then everyone would be there. It is a happy ending but its not like a fairytale ending where everyone gets what they want, but I do see how strong the family’s bond remains.

I Am A Rubber Band


Hey, Jack, I bounce back - rubber band
Hey, Jack, I bounce back - rubber band

I’m sturdy, I’m strong
Not afraid to get dirty all day long
Hey Jack, Hey Jill
Am I gonna make it? You know I will ‘cause

Chorus: I am a rubber band
I am a rubber band
Who can bounce back? I can   
I am a rubber band 

I’m stretchable, I’m flexible - rubber band
I’m stretchable, I’m flexible - rubber band

I stretch, I flex
Always ready for what comes next
I shrink, I grow
Stop and think, everybody knows that

Chorus: repeat chorus

I hold things together - rubber band
I hold things together - rubber band

I hold it together, never mind the weather
Sturdy and strong all day long
I stretch and bend, I flex again
I’m elastic, I’m fantastic

Jack and Jill came walking down the hill
Everything alright, what a beautiful sight
Say, how did you fix your water can?
Said, put it back together with a rubber band

Chorus: repeat chorus

This song is called I Am A Rubber Band, in the Songs of Confience Album made by the Growing Sound Company. It was made for children to show them that they are able to get back their feet after a bad experience. This song reminds me so much of Jeanette’s family. So many problems but yet they always know that they would be able to get through them together and continue to live their lives.

Its okay if bad things happen as long as you are able to get back on your feet and move foward.  The Wall’s family were able to apply this to all their misfortunes and move on with their life never letting anything bring their spirits down.

Its okay if bad things happen as long as you are able to get back on your feet and move foward.  The Wall’s family were able to apply this to all their misfortunes and move on with their life never letting anything bring their spirits down.

Letter to Jeanette Walls

Dear Jeanette,

Hearing your story truly surprised me. I am sure that if I went through what you went though I would have probably given up on life. You and your siblings went through a tough life with parents that were hardly there for you. I think that telling the world your story really allowed people’s minds to open up. There are many people who are different like your family and aren’t afraid of showing it. I think reading this book allowed me to rethink how your parents raised you. From first impression, it was horrible parenting but when I read more and more I realize that it wasn’t all that bad. Giving you and your sibling’s independence was a good thing and all parents should learn to do that. However, your parents were in their own little world most of the time and giving you too much freedom to the point where you had to raise yourself by looking for food anywhere possible. But on the bright side they trusted all of you guys without a doubt to take care of yourself. Even as a child, though I do not think that that was the best time to start. For example, when you were 3 your mom allowed you to cook your own food despite so many of the dangers that you were in. I loved the way you wrote the book in a perspective where the reader gets to decide whether or not your parents raised you right or wrong. You allowed us to make the opinion instead of making us feel a certain way. Not being able to blame your parents for making you live like that must be difficult but it is great that even with those conditions, you and your siblings were able to get out of it and live your own lives and dreams. Reading your story must be an inspiration to other children who live in conditions where it’s not so comfortable. It shows people that even in the worst conditions, as long as you have hope and faith, you will be able to achieve whatever goal you wish to achieve. Reading the book also makes me admire how much your family was able to get back on their feet no matter what goes wrong. Even though sometimes it’s not good, like when your mom thought being homeless was an adventure, it makes others want to stay positive but still be conscious of their situation. Reading this book really opened up my eyes in many different ways and even changed my perspective from what I originally though in the beginning.


Iva Lu

Working Thesis Statement

Although many misfortunes have come upon the Wall’s family, their resilience is what kept them strong and optimistic.

Response to Another Group’s Question

Group 7 

Jeannette Walls claims that “…despite our economic

standing, Mom was a bit of a snob and always made us feel superior to

everyone else. She would never describe us as poor. She would say we

just had a very serious cash-flow problem.” Is Mom’s optimistic

outlook admirable or not? Why?

I think that Rose Mary was not being “optimistic” but in face she was in self-denial. She refused to believe that they were in any economical crisis. She did not want to believe that her family is poor. She did not do this for the kids but she did it for herself. She wanted to convince herself that she was not living like that because it would make other people look down upon them. But the truth is that other people at school do look down upon their family. They are poor and kids like Ernie Goad will bully them because their family’s situation is a lot better. Her children could not even tell her what was going on because she did not believe they were poor so there was no reason for Ernie and them to pick on them and call their house a garbage. Having a mother who did not admit the truth was rough on the kids because Rose Mary did not take any action to fix their problem. If they had a “serious cash flow” problem then Rose Mary along with Rex should have attempted to make it better and allow the kids to come up with a budget to benefit the entire family in the long run. Her mom was not trying to look at things on the bright side, she was just telling herself that there was no reason for other people to look down upon her family because they were not poor, they just had money issues. Self denial was a huge thing for Rose Mary. She did not want to admit so many of their problems that they had. For instance when Brian was being sexually harassed by their grandmother. Even Rex did not want to believe it. Her mom was being snobby because she felt equal to others if not even more superior. She told her kids that they were a lot luckier and more fortunate than other kids. A lot of kids had problems that they did not have to deal with. There is a major difference between optimism and self denial. In Rose Mary’s case, it was not trying to brighten up the mood, but rejecting the idea of being poor.

Who is better: Dad vs Mom

In the book The Glass Castle, I think that both the mom and the dad aren’t good parents. However, one of them is slightly the better parent. I believe that the dad is a lot better of a parent than the mom. Even though the dad might be the main reason that the family is constantly moving from place to place, the father is trying hard to keep their family location as stable as possible. He is even there for his kids when they need him. For instance when Jeanette was scared of something in the room thinking it was a monster, her father said, “All you have to do, Mountain Goat, is show old Demon that you’re not afraid” (37). He wants her to understand that she should stand up to her fears and prove that she is not afraid at all. Another example is during Christmas and their family could not afford to buy them any gifts, he said that he would give her a star. Even though Jeanette chose a planet he said to her, “‘what the hell,’ Dad said. ‘It’s Christmas. You can have a planet if you want’” (40). He knew that she was silly to choose a planet instead of a star but he understood that she really admired it and let her “have” the star anyways. I believe that her father was a lot better of a parent because he tried really hard to support the family even though he deals with some of his own issues. Her mom seems more selfish and only accepts things that happen naturally. An example is when she was telling Jeanette about how smart she though Lori was. “Mom marveled at how brilliant Lori was. ‘Lori gets straight A’s,’ she once told me. ‘So do I,’ I said. ‘Yes but you have to work for them.’ Mom was right, Lori was brilliant” (74). She basically discouraged Jeanette into thinking that she was not as smart as her sister because she worked for her grade. Many students work for their grades and that is what makes it so accomplishing and something to take pride in. Her mom is not a great parent because she is a self-absorbed parent and be more supportive of her children.