Ethos In The Glass Castle

1158 Words5 Pages

Through the Eyes of the Impoverished
The novel The Glass Castle is more than just thousands of words typed on simple, yet small, white sheets of paper; it is a memoir that recounts a time when a young girl went through heart wrenching struggles to find food to eat, enough water to bathe in, and parents who actually acted like parents. Jeannette Walls grew up with an unsteady family that included a few kind siblings, an alcoholic as a father, and a mother with her head in the clouds. It is obvious life was never easy for this author as she managed to keep the household together, constantly calming her dad down after an alcohol driven burst of rage, or reminding her mother that it was necessary she pulled herself out of bed to go work to help …show more content…

(good---but this would have been stronger still if blended into the argument about the theme itself—as it stands, the essay risks becoming a bit repetitive) Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines pathos as an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion. A simpler definition is to evoke emotion. This story was undoubtedly a gloomy one that incorporated the disturbing depictions of rape or other perverted actions as well as a glimpse into the life of a bullied child. However, not all emotions brought into the minds of the readers are sad; some are more about fear or anger, even happiness. A concise representation of this is found when Jeannette remarks, (lead into the quotes could be a bit of contextual information---like what happened and why did it occur) “Brian yanked the covers back. Lying on the mattress next to Mom was one of those huge family-sized Hershey chocolate bars, the shiny silver wrapper pulled back and torn away. She’s already eaten half of it (208).” This excerpt appeals to the emotion anger, illustrating a mother who is watching her kids starve and yet selfishly keeps an enormous chocolate bar to herself. How could a mother possibly feed herself before her kids? Another extraction from the text that demonstrates an appeal to pathos is, “I reached into my pocket and touched the horn-handled jackknife, then waved again. Dad just stood there. He grew smaller and smaller, and then we turned a corner and he was gone (288).” This passage evokes the feeling of happiness, because it is the exact moment when Jeannette is able to escape and find her path to a new life. Whether it be by contentment, rage, or other feelings, there were so many instances in the novel that all in all, really reached out to readers in an emotional way only further representing the use of

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