Study Guide

The Glass Castle Wealth

By Jeannette Walls

Wealth

Our theme for The Glass Castle is actually lack of wealth, if we want to get specific. Like the kids in Dickens novels, the Walls tots come from the raggediest rags before they achieve their modest riches. The Walls family sticks together by wearing hand-me-down clothes, not having food, and sometimes having to sleep out under the stars, since they don't actually have a roof over their heads. But they somehow make it through, proving that money can't buy happiness…but it can pay the rent and buy clothes and food, which helps.

Questions About Wealth

  1. Why is it so difficult for the family to make ends meet?
  2. How would the Walls family be different if they were rich?
  3. Why didn't Mom sell the land, which may have been worth up to a million dollars? Why would she rather live in poverty?

Chew on This

The Walls family always lived in very poor communities. They are just one of many families who probably lead similar, or even worse, lives.

Dad knows that money is the key to his children buying their own freedom. He doesn't want to lose them, so he spends all the family's money as a ploy to keep them all together.

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