The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Summary Study Guide

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Jeannette Walls: Jeannette is a girl who is unfortunate enough to be raised by two neglectful parents who don't provide enough food to eat or sufficient shelter or clothing. Through sheer neglect they put her in dangerous situations. Jeannette loves her parents but as she gets older she plots to escape from them.

Jeannette's Daddy: Jeannette's daddy is a big thinker but a man of little action. He talks constantly about building a fantastic home called a "Glass Castle". But the home never gets built and in reality he and his family live in a broken down shack without running water or electricity much of the time. Jeannette's father gets drunk and even violent from time to time.

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Jeannette's Mommie: Jeannette's Mom enables her husband's behavior, and she is more than a little resentful that she has to give up the life of an artist to take care of her children. When the kids are starving and ask Mom to get a job, she refuses because she wants to spend time painting instead. In general she is disconnected from reality and treats hardships like hunger and cold as good character building exercises.


Lori, Brian, Maureen: Sister, brother, sister. The first two are sympathetic allies to Jeannette; the third is a crazy whore.

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