Themes Of The Glass Castle By Jeannette Walls

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The Glass Castle is the best selling memoir written by Jeannette Walls. The memoir recounts Walls’ childhood and the life she lived with her siblings, selfish mother, and drunken father. In the popular opinion, the novel was a riveting look inside the sad and dysfunctional childhood of a successful author. Twelve years after the book was written Director Destin Daniel Cretton decided to take the plunge and create a movie to bring Walls’ story to life. Although it had an all-star cast many believed it “lacked edge” or, “ left out details that made Walls’ memoir so raw and pure”. Even with these mediocre reviews others still said that the movie brought Walls’ story to life in an effective and emotional way. So, with all these mixed reviews …show more content…

There are many themes in The Glass Castle that make it the riveting book that it is. These themes include responsibility, independence, family dysfunction, and societal views of normality. I’ll start with the most simple of them all, independence. In both the book and movie the Walls children have more freedom than any child should really have, although children should have some sort of freedom, I feel it should grow and expand over time not just all the freedom in the world at every age. An example of this is the very first glimpse into Walls’ childhood when three-year-old Jeannette is hungry and decides to make herself hotdogs. While attempting to make hot dogs, the flames from the stovetop ignite the bottom of her dress and begin to rip up her side. Her mother, Rosemary, rushes to her side and begins to try and pat down the flames before taking her to the hospital. This same scene presents itself in the movie, but in the movie, it seems to rush along a little too quickly. Although I feel that the rush of this scene fits the movie and it’s idea to emphasize the important themes. As the kids grow older their sense of independence grows until it’s almost in a ridiculous state of the children …show more content…

The biggest theme, I feel, in both pieces of work is family dysfunction. Family is a huge role because the audience can see that no matter what the Walls’ go through they always stick together. Although, in the movie, Cretton adds a powerful argument between Jeannette and Rex about the hardships of Jeanette's childhood. One of the lines of the argument that sticks out to me is, “ It was your job to protect us, and you didn’t even try”! That one line, in my mind, creates that line between being too independent and having a ridiculous amount of responsibility, and then at the same time never leaving anyone behind in all of its dysfunction. I feel that Cretton added that scene to add more power to the movie and to try and add the same amount of detail that the book gave. The final theme that I feel is prominent and presents itself more in the movie than in the book is the way that the Walls’ social class is viewed by society, society is the audience. The only way this shows in the book is when the different houses and environments are being described. As in the movie, I feel the audience can get a clearer picture of the theme as a whole. In the movie, we, see the living situation of the family as they move place to place, although we see them mainly living in Welch. We see the

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