Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The Glass Castle written by Jeannette Walls is a beautifully told story of her not-so-average life. She talks about her dad, a smart engineer who cares about his children and has taught them many important lessons. But, when he drinks, he turns damaging and untrustworthy. He promises them that once he finds gold, he will build a glass castle so at night they can see the stars. Jeanette’s mom, a free-spirited lady who devoted her life to her art and was overwhelmed with having to raise four children.
Jeanette’s family is always moving, living in strangely deserted areas. She and her siblings have to find ways to help themselves, for their mother did not pay attention to them and their dad was either at odd jobs or the bar. They barely ever had food, sometimes they would have to just eat butter with sugar. She tells different stories of her crazy life such as living in a “ghost town” where she had to once get in a gunfight with another kid.
How she remembers living in Phoenix, where she finally had a home and she thought their life would finally turn around. When she was living in Phoenix, they lived in a house they inherited from their grandma. Her dad became sober after he had burned down their Christmas tree. Jeannette loved Phoenix, but soon the inherited money drained out and the Walls had to leave. So, the kids could only bring one thing to bring.
The Walls then moved to Welch, West Virginia, to live with her dad’s mom who was mean-spirited. When the parents drove back to Phoenix to retrieve their bikes, grandma locked the kids in the basement. After that, the family bought an old run-down house that had no running water and no electricity. Jeannette kept thinking they were going to leave but after 2 years, it became clear they were going to stay in Welch permanently. Their dad started drinking again and was barely home, their mom would not do much to help, sometimes buying herself chocolate and hiding it while her children had not had anything to eat. But the Walls children were smart and determined, Jeannette’s older sister Lori was an artist and got recognized for her art. When she came back from an art camp she got a scholarship to, she told Jeannette she wanted to live in New York and go to college there as soon as she got out of high school. Her parents supported her decision, for they always said to follow your dreams.
Jeannette decided that she wanted to go to New York with Lori as soon as she was done with Junior year in Welch, so she could finish high school in New York and go to college there. She and Lori saved up money. The night before Jeannette is about to leave, her dad shows her the floor plan of the Glass Castle as a way to have her not want to go. But the next morning, he drives her to the train station to say goodbye.
In New York, the two girls are successful, both going to college there, but they feel guilty leaving their two other siblings in Welch, so as soon as Loi gets out of college, they bring their brother, Brian who has just finished high school, then a few years later when their young sister is old enough, they bring Maureen t to live with them. Jeanette becomes a writer. Their parents come to live in New York but are homeless. After many years, Jeannette gets married and is a successful writer, Lori is content with her art, Brian is a police officer and has a daughter, and Maureen moved back to California. Jeannette receives a call saying that her dad is in the hospital. When Jeannette gets there she talks to her dad and he tells her how proud of her he is. He tells her he never got to build the Glass Castle but they had fun planning it. Then days later, he dies from a heart attack. Although they went through hard times, the Walls family stuck together through it all.