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The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls. THEMES. Unit theme: CAMOUFLAGE. Why do people try to fit in or remain “unnoticed”? When is it time to stand up or move on to grow? (remove your camouflage) Is camouflage necessary for survival? Is it a part of every person’s development?.

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unit theme camouflage
  • Why do people try to fit in or remain “unnoticed”?
  • When is it time to stand up or move on to grow? (remove your camouflage)
  • Is camouflage necessary for survival?
  • Is it a part of every person’s development?
novel themes 1 neglect
Novel themes: 1. NEGLECT
  • By parents—constant moving, Jeannette burns herself at 3 years old cooking hot dogs.
  • Jeannette and her brother are forced to steal food to survive.
  • Mom’s refusal to work, and childhood neglect forces kids to fend for themselves (physiologically, and even sometimes for safety).
2 homelessness
  • Jeannette’s parents choose “homelessness” at the end of the novel.
  • Refusal to work, and Rose Mary preferring to live as “an excitement addict” leaves them on the streets.
  • Offers a new perspective on homelessness to the reader…
  • What is homelessness? Is it a life without support and/or structure, or is it physically

not having a place to sleep?

3 alcoholism
  • Affects the entire family, not just the person afflicted.
  • Forces the victim to make decisions that are not always in the best interest of those around the victim.
  • Rex is an alcoholic that makes bad decisions as a result of his disease.
  • Forces the reader to consider—where

did his disease originate?

4 forgiveness
  • Jeannette’s tone is very matter-of-fact and direct.
  • Her perspective changes as she matures, however her tone is not one of blame or anger.
  • Jeannette’s biggest message is one of acceptance, tolerance, and forgiveness.
  • Her ability to forgive her parents is what

allows her to be a self-actualized,

successful person.

5 sometimes the most responsible people can be the children not the parents
5. Sometimes the most responsible people can be the children, not the parents…
  • Throughout the novel the kids are taking care of each other and their parents… sometimes more so than Rex and Rose Mary care for their own kids.
  • Forces the reader to see triumph in difficulty, and growth in places of darkness.
  • How does this motivate


6 lost dreams
  • Many characters lose their dreams…
    • Rex
    • Rose Mary
    • Maureen
  • Why?
    • Lack of money?
    • Lack of education?
    • Lack of motivation?
    • Addiction?
    • Cycle of Abuse?
  • What makes Jeannette successful, or able to overcome?
why the glass castle
Why The Glass Castle?
  • Because it is possible to overcome the odds.
  • It is important to reflect on your past and decide how YOU WANT it to



  • Because if Jeannette can do it…

anyone can!!