Many themes can be portrayed in a person’s life. Especially when one’s life is struck by so many strange events. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells is a very good example. Jeanette experiences many accounts of survival, betrayal, and loss which go on to influence the rest of her life. Jeanette’s life becomes a rollercoaster and she takes us along for the ride.
We learn of Holden’s fear of growing up and entering adulthood. However, instead of acknowledging that adulthood scares him, he tries to create a fantasy in which adulthood is all full of phonies and childhood is all filled with innocence. Throughout the novel we see Holden try to cling on to his own childhood but also in turn he wants to prevent others from exiting their childhood. This is optimized when he talks about himself wanting to ‘ be the catcher in the rye and all.’ From this quote we learn that Holden perceives adulthood as something that just happens and you don’t see it coming. He wants to stop people and prevent them from entering adulthood, which he likens to being like falling off of a cliff; “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff” .
The first is that he is discriminated against because he’s black, and this creates a rift between him and the other ranch workers. The second is that he’s lonely because of this discrimination. Being discriminated against, and set aside in a barn to sleep instead of the rest, who sleep in a bunkhouse, causes him to have to spend nights and days alone for the most part. This causes him to get “sick,” as he puts it. This loneliness causes him to go a bit crazy, in other words.
Holden seems to be ostracised and victimized from the world around him. Interactions with others confuse and overwhelm him, so Holden is usually isolated. Holden is in this weird situation where he desires companionships or to interact with others but he ends up backing out. The reason behind his alienation could be the fact that others alienate him, he alienates himself, or both for that matter. In chapter twenty, he
The Glass Castle Summary The Glass Castle is an autobiographical story written by Jeannette Walls about her crazy, dysfunctional family. It is 288 pages long and was published by Simon and Schuster published in March 2005. Most of the characters fall into multiple categories of character types. Rex Walls, for example, is a protagonist when he gets money for his daughter to stay in college, but is an antagonist when he steals their New York money. Rose Marry Walls is the same, working a job to get the family money, but doesn’t sell the million dollar land she owns to get the family’s life back on track.
Among the many themes represented in the novel The Glass Castle, the most prominent is family hardship. Family hardship is when a family is going through severe suffering or privation. The Walls family represent the theme of family hardship because their parents weren’t caring enough for their children. This theme can be seen in the memoir written by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, the movie Running with Scissors and in the book No and Me. Family hardship makes a family stronger and closer to each other.
There are many young individuals that struggle with their own identity and individuality. Many of them have a hard time coping to figure out who they are and want to be. When a parent is raising a child they teach them their own set of morals and beliefs. In the short story “The Glass Roses” written by Alden Nowlan it shows the struggles of a fifteen year old boy who is trying to live up to his father’s expectations to make him proud. Stephen’s partner, Leka, teaches him that it is important to be your own individual and not let anyone shape who you want to be by sculpting you own ideals and values.
Sadly, Holden’s support system completely contrasts with an ideal support system. His mother and father are secretly invested into their personal issues his mom smoking cigarettes living in anxiety, his father working long hours and investing in unsuccessful broadways plays. Holden constantly feared making mistakes as his parent’s would either yell him or send him away to another boarding school. His oldest brother D.B in a sense abandoned him to work for Hollywood which is why he mentions Hollywood in such a scornful way as it stole his older brother from him. Because his support system is less than Ideal he doesn’t use it he’s often afraid of using it.
The reader is led on a journey by Holden, from fancy prep schools to the tough streets of New York City, all in the search for one thing: the meaning of masculinity. Holden’s search for identity culminates in his failure to conform to societal standards of masculinity, allowing Salinger to effectively question the need for such strict standards which seemingly only inhibit personal growth. Holden’s failure to embrace the masculine stereotype is epitomized in his idealized and naive views on romance and sexulaity. When Holden enters the upscale Edmont Hotel and sees a young couple on a date, he remarks, “I think if you don't really like a girl, you shouldn't horse around with her at all …. It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes” (Salinger 70).
He seems to bring about a sort of hatred for the “hot-shots” who I perceive as the materialistic adults Holden tries to avoid becoming, hence him not wanting to grow up. In my opinion, Holden is not meant to be in a prep school. He needs a smaller environment in which he can build close relationships with other people.