The Glass Castle: Metaphor Analysis

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The Geod
This Geod is Jeannette’s rock and is the only item she saved when moving to Welch. As her only personal possession, it demonstrates the lack of concern for materiality that the children are raised with; it may also be seen to symbolize the family’s poverty.
When Jeannette left Welch, she decided to leave her past behind and it is of note that she gave the Geod to Maureen. This meant her past remained there and was not wholly discarded.
The Glass Castle
The eponymous Glass Castle encapsulates the extent to which the children’s father, Rex, preferred to romanticize and theorize rather than live practically and represents, then, his Quixotic nature. This Castle was his design of a dream home and he carried the blueprints around whenever the family moved on. His failure to carry through the plans highlights how rooted he was in dreams.
The fact that he drew up these plans reminds the readers of his intelligence and also of his shortcomings as they never came to fruition. These shortcomings are emphasized when Jeannette and Brian attempted to dig foundations for the Castle, and their father told them to throw their garbage in the hole (rather than pay to have it removed).
 
The House in Welch
The family home in Welch was broken down when they first moved in, but over the years it only disintegrated further. No repairs were made to it and it crumbled to the point of being dangerous. Because of this, it may be interpreted as both a symbol of the family’s poverty and, we are encouraged to think, a sign of the parents’ lack of desire to improve the children’s environment.
Wizard of Oz
This work of fiction is referred to only occasionally, most notably as Lori’s favorite book when younger. Its thematic concern with escape and freedom are significant, though, as the Walls children also go on to find their own road for independence that takes them away from the world they were raised in. Parallels with the search for the Wizard and father’s dream of building the Glass Castle are also evident as both are romantic notions, but are also necessary counterbalances to black and white material reality.

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