Free Study Guide for The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls|
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STUDY NOTES FOR THE GLASS CASTLE BY JEANETTE WALLS
This section is quite sad, because Dad’s fate is sealed because of all
of his stupid choices, but he wants his daughter to know that he has always
loved her. And even though he uses his usual comment of how he never let
her down, and even though Jeannette knows that he’s nearly always let
her down, it is a statement that will forever bond them to each other.
It leaves the reader feeling sad about the loss of so much potential.
Two weeks after Jeannette visits him, Dad dies of a heart attack. When she arrives at the emergency room, he is being kept alive with machines. They all know that he wouldn’t have wanted that, and an hour later, they turn off the machines. While standing there looking at Dad, his eyes closed, Jeannette has the urge to pick him up in her arms and charge through the doors, checking out Rex Walls - style one last time. Then, after he is gone, she finds herself always wanting to be somewhere other than where she is. She begins ice-skating, because the fast-paced maneuvers help distract her and exhaust her to the point where she doesn’t have to think. She eventually realizes that being on the move isn’t enough; she needs to reconsider everything.
A year after Dad’s death, Jeannette leaves Eric. She knows he’s a good
man, but not the right man for her. She doesn’t really belong on Park
Avenue, and so she takes a small apartment of the West Side. It feels
right. She goes ice-skating less often, and her compulsion to move begins
to fade. She begins instead to go for long walks at night and on clear
nights, she sees Venus on the horizon, up over the dark water, glowing
The motif of movement as a means of escape fills Jeannette as she looks at her dying father and it is movement that hounds her as she grieves for him. In the end, his death helps her understand where she really belongs, and as she walks at night she sees Venus, the gift he had given for Christmas all those years ago.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Glass Castle".
. 09 May 2017