21 Best 'The Glass Castle' Quotes By Jeannette Walls

Srija Chanda
Dec 12, 2023 By Srija Chanda
Originally Published on Jan 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Library with multiple shelves and books

These quotes from 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls will make you think about the most significant elements in life.

There are some books that completely pierce through you, drown you in a flurry of emotions. 'The Glass Castle' is one such book.

A 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls, 'The Glass Castle', explores an atypically bizarre, poverty-stricken upbringing of Walls and her siblings by their mom and dad, from the '50s to her adulthood.

It symbolizes the conflict of dysfunctional parents and its impact on her psyche and that of the other children.

The book has been banned across many schools and even some libraries due to its coarse and explicit scenes and vivid portrayal of alcoholism and abuse. As the story proceeds, 'The Glass Castle', once a symbol of the family's hope, turns into a symbol of broken promises.

The book captures its readers in the most obscene situations, forcing one to contemplate on the very social strata, as well as the chronic circumstances and the way in which many dwell, irrespective of the strata.

The book's visual imagery is so strong that it subjects its readers to live in those situations to an extent that one is bound to empathize more than just sympathize, making it a good book.

Jeannette Walls and her portrayal of the intensity and extremity in human behavior makes it special to a point that it makes it a must-read. Check out our ['Eat Pray Love quotes] and ['The Help' quotes], too.

Important Quotes From 'The Glass Castle'

Woman buying books from a book store

These 'The Glass Castle' book quotes, are going to make you think about the idea of home and help you to understand how different people live.

These Jeannette Walls quotes never fail to swell our hearts, be it about her mother and father as active parts in her life or just minuscule elements of her life that carry a grand significance, like the Joshua tree.

1. "You're in a horse race but you're thinking like a sheep. Sheep don't win horse races."

- Dad.

2. "I could hear people around us whispering about the crazy drunk man and his dirty little urchin children, but who cared what they thought?"

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

3. "Dad told us that zone was known in physics as the boundary between turbulence and order. ‘It’s the place where no rules apply, or at least they haven’t figured ’em out yet,’ he said."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

4. "Too much hard luck can create a permanent meanness of spirit in any creature."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

5. "I wondered if all fire was related, like Dad said all humans were related . . . but what I did know was that I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

6. "She added that you should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. "Everyone has something good about them," she said. "You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that."

"Oh yeah?" I said. "How about Hitler? What was his redeeming quality?"

"Hitler loved dogs," Mom said without hesitation."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

7. "Why spend the afternoon making a meal that will be gone in an hour," she'd ask us, "when in the same amount of time, I can do a painting that will last forever?"

- Mom.

Quotes That Are Food For Thought

Jeannette Walls, in her masterpiece, blatantly portrays the layers of her upbringing, her mother, and her father and hints towards some major concepts that should be a concern for parents. Her rejection of some acute, extreme concepts lies in her brutal description, ones that should never be ignored. These quotes could help you and encourage you to think deeply.

8. "Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior."

- Mom.

9. "You can't cling to the side your whole life, that one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is "If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

10. "Those shining stars, he liked to point out, were one of the special treats for people like us who lived out in the wilderness. Rich city folks, he'd say, lived in fancy apartments, but their air was so polluted they couldn't even see the stars."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

11. "We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa Clause myth and got nothing but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. 'Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten,' Dad said, you'll still have your stars."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

12. "Life's too short to care about what other people think. Besides, they should accept us for who we are"

- Mom.

13. "Sometimes you have to get sicker before you can get better."

- Mom.

14. "She had her addictions and one of them was reading."

- About Mom.

15. "Once you'd resolved to go, there was nothing to it at all."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

16. "Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential."

- Mom.

17. "...he said it was interesting. He used the word 'textured'. He said 'smooth' is boring but 'textured' was interesting, and the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever had tried to hurt me."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

18. "I wanted to let the world know that no one had a perfect life, that even the people who seemed to have it all had their secrets."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

19. "One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by."

- Jeannette Walls as narrator.

20. "Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more."

- Mom.

21. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said."It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty."

- Mom.

22. "Things usually work out in the end.

What if they don't?

That just means you haven't come to the end yet."

- 'The Glass Castle.'

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'The Glass Castle' quotes then why not take a look at 'The Kite Runner' quotes, or 'All The Light We Cannot See' quotes.

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Written by Srija Chanda

Master of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

Srija Chanda picture

Srija ChandaMaster of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.

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