Study Guide

The Glass Castle Part III, Chapter 13

By Jeannette Walls

Part III, Chapter 13

  • Erma dies. Lori's reaction: "Ding-dong, the witch is dead" (3.13.5).
  • Dad is furious that Lori would talk about his dead mother that way, so he leaves and doesn't return for four days.
  • Mom sends Jeannette to find Dad and bring him home.
  • Jeannette finds Dad at a bar called the Howdy House.
  • Another bar patron drives Jeannette and her drunk dad home.
  • The driver asks young Jeannette what she wants to be when she grows up, and she says a veterinarian or a geologist.
  • "For the daughter of the town drunk, you sure got big plans" (3.13.30), the driver says. He means it as a compliment, but Jeannette takes offense.
  • A few months after Erma dies, Uncle Stanley burns down her house, so he and Grandpa move into an apartment.
  • Occasionally Jeannette uses their apartment to bathe, but Uncle Stanley touches her thigh and unzips his pants when she does this.
  • When Jeannette tells Mom that Uncle Stanley groped her, Mom brushes it off. "He's so lonely" (3.13.41), she says. Ugh.
  • Jeannette decides to use a metal tub to bathe at home.
  • Speaking of water, it rains so much in the spring that the porch rots off. The family will be lucky to still have a house this time next year.