The Glass Castle Passage Analysis Essay
September 25, 2013
In The Glass Castle, the author Jeannette Walls communicates her apathetic attitude towards Welch through the use of a personal anecdote and a detached tone, ultimately revealing that trying circumstances can have a small emotional effect on people.
The author conveys her indifference to the Welch community by writing a personal anecdote about the rampant fighting in Welch. Although Walls participated in the fighting, she viewed it as just another part of her life, rather than something troubling. Walls states that Welch was the “fightingest” town her mother had ever seen. “Fightingest” is something a child would make up, implying that she views the fighting as immature (33). Since Walls sees the fighting as immature, she would not feel very strongly about it. This proves that Walls is indifferent to Welch because she feels apathy towards the fighting, which is an integral part of living in Welch. Walls writes that she fought to “fit in” (2). The other kids did not accept Walls so she felt she needed to fight to fit in. Since Walls felt that she was not a part of the Welch community, her attitude towards it is indifference.
Throughout the passage Walls writes with a detached tone, demonstrating her indifference to Welch. She writes that “street brawls…stabbings…beatings… and toddler whalings” were commonplace (14-15). Walls lists these examples in a clinical manner, sounding as if she is speaking about a list of groceries, not serious fighting. The way in which she lists these examples indicates that she does not care about the severity of these happenings which she views as standard. Walls also writes that it was “simply” a matter of throwing a punch; as if punching someone is a socially acceptable thing to do (16). The use of “simply” conveys nonchalance, indicating a feeling of neutrality.