The Glass Castle

Explain the importance of the final toast to Jeannette's father.

the glass castle
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Five years after Rex's death the family reunites for a Thanksgiving celebration. Jeannette, and her new husband John, host them at their country home. Brian, who has also separated from his first marriage, greets them at the house with his daughter Veronica. Rose Mary brings the news that she and the squatters are finally being permitted to purchase their apartments for only $1 apiece and announces that she must return for a board meeting regarding the matter. The family drinks a toast to Rex Walls in remembrance of the man with whom "life was never boring."

In this final scene, Jeannette intentionally resurrects the memory of her father. Instead of remembering the hardships he caused the family with his alcohol and gambling addictions they instead recognize the very thing that made Rex Walls unique; his propensity for finding excitement. This scene is indicative of a larger theme in the memoir of not judging Rose Mary or Rex or criticizing them harshly. Instead, Jeannette offers her story to the reader without condemning her parents or complaining about her upbringing. Perhaps, in writing the "truth" instead of hiding from it, Jeannette is set free by it--free from shame, from the need to lie about her past, and free from any feelings of contempt that may have existed for her parents.