Hardships In The Glass Castle

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 5:23:25 AM

Hardships In The Glass Castle

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Scenes of neglect in The Glass Castle

A simile is a figure of speech where the words "like" or "as" are used to compare two unlike things. Walls often uses similes in "The Glass Castle" to emphasize the extreme conditions under which her family survived. Early in the book, when Walls describes living in the Nevada desert, she states that her feet "were as tough and thick as cowhide" to emphasize how hardened they became from going without shoes.

Similarly, Walls adds that the family was "sort of like the cactus. Authors use personification when they attribute human characteristics like actions and emotions to something inhuman. In "The Glass Castle," fire plays a critical role in Walls' childhood development, as her earliest memory is of being critically burned while cooking hot dogs. From this experience, Walls developed a fascination for fire, even "torturing" it by setting paper on fire and flushing it down the toilet.

During the family's time in Las Vegas, their hotel catches on fire, causing Walls to wonder if the fire was "out to get [her]" in revenge for her fire experiment. Fire can't feel anger, but the use of personification emphasizes the lack of safety and security in Walls' life. No one expected you to amount to much," she told me. You never had much going for you except that you always worked hard. Life's too short to care about what other people think. Besides, they should accept us for who we are.

Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten, you'll still have your stars. We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa Clause myth and got nothing but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. But I also hoped that [she] had chosen California because she thought that was her true home, the place where she really belonged, where it was always warm and you could dance in the rain, pick grapes right off the vines, and sleep outside at night under the stars.

Why spend the afternoon making a meal that will be gone in an hour," she'd ask us, "when in the same amount of time, I can do a painting that will last forever? Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us.

That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior. Look at the way you live. You've sold out. Next thing I know you'll become a Republican. Whoever coined the phrase 'a man's got to play the hand that was dealt him' was most certainly one piss-poor bluffer. You can't cling to the side your whole life, that one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is "If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.

It's really not that hard to put food on the table if that's what you decide to do. Mom told us we would have to go shoplifting. Isn't that a sin? Not exactly," Mom said. It's sort of like justifiable homicide. This is justifiable pilfering. You're in a horse race but you're thinking like a sheep. Sheep don't win horse races. No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids. Unloved children grow up to be serial murderers or alcoholics. Maybe I should have cut him some slack.

Throughout the length of the novel, the reader waits for that one sentence that exclaims that the whole tale was merely made up, because no one can imagine a family actually living the way the Walls' did. However, they never receive it. Instead the story is delivered as somewhat paradoxical. Her childhood has memories that contradict each other, while at the same time making complete sense. For instance, Jeannette writes about her father in a way that makes the reader unsure about how they feel about him. At times, he proves to be a wonderful--though sometimes quite eccentric--dad to his kids. Yet, in the same breath, he will reach around his family towards his liquor bottle, leaving them behind.

Contradictory feelings swirl about her story, which is reflected in the structure of the novel, itself, in its use of these writing strategies. Posted by paige at PM 3 comments:. In The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls is the second oldest of her three siblings and is the narrator, as well as the author, of the memoir. Also, at times her tone turns detached, especially after her parents drag her away from another house. More specifically, when they move from the only true home they had ever really known in Phoenix, and move to Welch.

While Walls writes the novel as a grown woman years away from the troubled times she led, she stays true to her story and the brave young leader she was as a child.

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