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OklahomaAs I read this memoir, there were some quotes that stood out to me and helped show the author's writing style and use of different figurative language. Here are five of those outstanding quotes. After you finish reading these, add your favorite quotes and give a brief explanation why they are your favorite.
1. "Moms and dads got into arguments all the time in Battle Mountain, so it didn't seem that big a deal, but this fight was raucous even by local standards, and some people thought they should step in and break it up"(Walls 71).
  • This quote stood out to me because of its unusual use of syntax and the sentence's structure. At first, I though this was a run-on that deeply expressed the author's writing style as a child. I believe that instead of a comma after "deal," there should be a period and the next sentence should begin with however not "but" as the latter is not very good of a transition. Also, the diction in this quote seemed educated. Jeannette Walls' use of "raucous" helped bring out the education she earned while living with her parents. Furthermore, this sentence summarized the fight between Rex Walls and Rose Mary in a simple, yet convenient way and showed how "local" people reacted.
2. "Mom waved at the crowd. With our garbage-bag-taped window, our roped-down hood, and the art supplies tied to the roof, we'd out-Okied the Okies. The thought gave her a fit of the giggles" (Walls 129).
  • This was probably one of my favorite quotes because of the humor the sentences contained. The Walls family is driving through Oklahoma. As they stop by, the window refuses to "roll up" (129). So, the inhabitants inside this great, old mast covers the top of the windows with garbage bags. After, each of them take a nap. When the family wakes up, they are surprised to find "Okies" or inhabitants of the state staring deeply into the car. Rose Mary's first reaction to this was hilarious. She explained, '"You know you're down and out when Okies laugh at you...." (129). It also made me laugh and lightened up the mood of the family driving through the country.
3. "It was dusk when I got my first glimpse of it off in the distance, beyond a ridge. All I could see were the spires and blocky tops of buildings. And then we reached the crest of the ridge, and there, across a wide river, was a huge island jammed tip to tip with skyscrapers, their glass glowing like fire in the setting sun" (Walls 245).
  • Jeannette Walls used imagery and detail to express her first view of New York. She even used a simile, "...fire in the setting sun..."(245), to express how beautiful the city was. While reading this quote, I felt extremely excited. The way that the author expressed the city was extremely descriptive. I even felt that I was her, seeing the great, industrialized island. Also, now I knew that Jeannette's life would definitely change. Moving from Welch to New York City helped Jeannette find her inner self.
“I had seen a help-wanted sign in the window of a jewelry store on McDowell Street called Becker’s Jewel Box. I put on a lot of makeup, my best dress—it was purple, with tiny dots and a sash that tied in the back—and a pair of Mom’s high heels, since we wore the same size. Then I walked around the mountain to apply for the job” (Walls 214).
  • Although this quote does not contain a lot of figurative language, it does express society in Welch. In order to earn a job, one must sell him or herself to the manager by wearing expensive clothing. This is still the case in our society today: without a good appearance, others cannot appreciate one not wearing any makeup. Personally, I wished that Jeannette had gone into the store with her ordinary, rough clothing. However, the reaction of the manager would have probably been of awe and he would have kicked her out right when he set his eyes on her. This quote made me realize how important clothing and appearance plays in one’s life. For example, even at school, rich students who usually are the popular ones take most of the attention while innocent children who sometimes maybe living through poverty sit quietly behind a desk, covering his or her ashamed face with a newspaper. Why does it have to be this way? Why does clothing and appearance have to play such a huge role in our lives that it has to affect both our lives as a whole and the lives of the people we surround ourselves with? I guess there just is not a simple answer to that, except maybe society just works out that way. All though her life, Jeannette was too scared to reveal her true self. After she wrote this incredible memoir, everyone of her new fans and friends loved it. Furthermore, this quote helps exemplify how important appearance plays in everyone’s life.
“We raised our glasses. I could almost hear Dad chuckling at Mom’s comment in the way he always did when he was truly enjoying something. It had grown dark outside. A wind picked up, rattling the windows, and the candle flames suddenly shifted, dancing along the border between turbulence and order” (Walls 288).
  • The last paragraph of every book, memoir, novel, etc. always stands out to me because it helps summarize the event that takes place in a unique and extraordinary way. The reason I chose this quote is this exact reason why. Jeannette has invited her mother and her older sister Lori to her house for Thanksgiving. The three of them with others, including John, Jeannette’s husband, sit together at a table eating. At the end of the night, they toast their drinks to Rex, Jeannette’s wonderful father. When I read this quote, I felt like I was sitting with the people themselves. The sentence structure varies, with the first being the shortest and to the point. This powerful quote ends with a personification example of the candlelight. The author’s powerful voice made me picture candles flickering into the night and made me scared when I thought about “rattling windows” (288). Furthermore, this quote helped end The Glass Castle in the best way possible.
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ErikaBartolo Another quote 0 Dec 13 2008, 12:56 PM EST by ErikaBartolo
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"When mom wanted to know what it was the doctors and nurses were doing that was so nice, I told her about the chewing gum. "Ugh," she said. She disapproved of chewing gum, she went on. It was a disgusting low-class habit, and the nurse should have consulted her before encouraging me in such vulgar behavior." (pg 12)

Mom's response to the nurses giving Jeannette chewing gum is ironic. She believes chewing gum to be a disgusting low class habit, but she does not realize her own vulgarity. She is vulgar in the manner that she does not care for her children and would rather satisfy herself by painting. She would rather paint than cook for her family because food will only last a little while a painting will last a long time. I believe selfishness is more vulgar than chewing gum.
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