Analysis Of Jeannette Walls The Glass Castle

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Can happiness be found outside of societal norms? Although this is a difficult question to answer, author Jeannette Walls attempts to do so implicitly in the given excerpt from the novel The Glass Castle. In this passage, the speaker is sharing her story about how she saw her homeless mother on the streets of New York City, digging through the trash. Despite the mother's difficult financial situation, as well as many other problems that she appears to be encountering at the time, the mother continues to emanate happiness. The speaker, however, does not feel the same contentment, despite living according to the prescribed societal norms of living in a large city: wearing expensive clothing, going to large parties and living in a nice apartment.…show more content…
After initially spotting the mother and recognizing her positive characteristics, the speaker becomes nervous due to the possibility that the mother might embarrass her. This anxiety is displayed in the run-on sentence that Walls includes in the middle of the excerpt that describes how the speaker thinks that the mother is going to embarrass her. The fact that it is a run on sentence, which contributes to an increased pace of reading, combined with the purposeful usage of language that portrays the speaker's anxiety, contributes to a nervous tone. Such a nervous tone would point to the overall sense of discontent that the speaker feels due to having to live under the constant impression that her reputation could be ruined at any moment by the mere presence of her mother. After the extremely stressful experience of almost encountering her mother on the streets, the speaker returns to her home and begins to question the way that she's living. She recognizes that she's not living a happy life, saying that "[she'd] tried to make a home for myself here, tried to turn the apartment into the sort of place where the person [she] wanted to be would live." This statement is extremely profound because the speaker recognizes
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