The Glass Castle': Reflection Paper

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Book: The Glass Castle Author: Jeannette Walls

    • Date: 9/4/19 I am on page 288 of 288
    • I give this book 5 out of 5 stars
    • This reading is captivating and heartfelt

The question I chose is: “If this book has already been made into a movie and you have watched the movie, how are the movie and book similar? Different?”

While watching the movie, I noticed many differences and similarities compared to the book. One of the first differences I found was Lori’s glasses. The movie starts out with Lori wearing glasses, while the book goes into great detail about her experience when putting her glasses on for the first time and why her mother didn’t want her to have them. Her mother believed, “If you had weak eyes, they needed exercise to get strong” (Walls 96); however, the school said that Lori couldn’t attend without glasses. Another big difference was that the movie didn’t show any scenes of the kids going to different schools. The book talks about every experience they had at each school from being the smartest kid in class to being bullied on the playground.

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The movie also has a lot of similarities with the book, including the Erma incident with Brian. It is very similar to the description given in the book. Jeannette explains, “Erma was touching Brian in a way she ought not to be…Erma said she was merely mending Brian’s inseam” (Walls 147). Jeanette says that Erma reached over to slap her and Lori tells everyone to calm down. Then Erma hits Lori and Lori strikes her back. This is exactly what happened in the movie. The only difference I noticed in this scene compared to the book was how she found Erma and Brian. In the movie, she was writing and asked Lori if she had a sharpener and then she starts going to their room to get one when she hears what is going on. In the book, she just hears him while she and Lori were watching TV. A difference I found related to Erma was the time she died. In the book, she died when Jeanette was young and still living at 93 Little Hobart Street. The movie puts off her death until Jeanette is in high school and right before she moves out to New York.

Another notable difference is the dinner scene at the beginning of the movie. In the book, this part happened near the end when she was talking to, what she described as “an aging, elegant woman in a silk turban” (Walls 270). The movie has her sitting at the table talking to a man instead, but the conversation is the same. The book also goes into detail about Jeanette seeing her dad for the last time in the hospital and talks about how he died. The movie shows him in the bedroom of their home and skips his death to go straight to Thanksgiving five years after he died. The movie also changed the name of Jeanette’s husband, Eric. His name in the movie is David and he’s known as her fiancé instead of her husband. They also don’t mention how she left him and found someone new after her father’s death.

The final difference between the book and the movie is where Jeanette learned to swim. The movie showed them swimming in a public swimming pool, while the book describes them at the Hot Pot, which Jeanette describes as a “natural sulfur spring in the desert...surrounded by craggy rocks and quicksand” (Walls 65).

The book has a lot more detail put into it than the movie portrays. The movie briefly mentions events like Jeanette's dad taking them to pet a cheetah at the zoo and the car full of grapes from California, but the book describes every detail behind those stories. In all, the book and movie are very similar with slight differences, but overall they both portray Jeanette’s story very well.

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The Glass Castle’: Reflection Paper. (2023, October 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“The Glass Castle’: Reflection Paper.” Edubirdie, 09 Oct. 2023,
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