The Glass Castle

How does Jeannette’s life change in Welch?

From The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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Racial difference becomes more pronounced when the Walls move to Welch. There, the expectation is that the races will remain separate. Though segregation is no longer legal, public facilities, like the swimming pool, maintain defacto separation. The African Americans arrive during the morning when there is no entrance fee while white people swim during the afternoon when the fee is charged. Jeannette develops a friendship with Dinitia, a black girl, which causes trouble with her Grandmother Erma and her Uncle Stanley. Jeannette defends her position that the races are not different from each other which greatly upsets her grandmother.

The move from the west to the east coast is accompanied by more than a change in racial dynamics. The Walls have to adjust to a number of things characteristic of their new environment, including the harsh winter months. The loss of the nature and warmth of the west coast, impacts the general happiness of the Walls family. Rex is defeated by having to return to the place he spent his entire childhood trying to escape, and the Walls children are ready to leave almost as soon as they arrive. Welch symbolizes the end of adventure for the Walls family, and the place from which they must all eventually escape. Check out this link,