The Glass Castle

How does the outside world view the walls family vs. how they view themselves?

Chapter: Desert

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The Walls family lives inside a bubble of nonconformity. Rex and Rose Mary Walls also insist that their children are special and that they need not conform to the societal norm. Rex is even a little saddened when his son Brian joins the Air Force, what Rex considers "the gestapo." Nonconformity also impacts the elder Walls' relation to authority. Neither of them is capable of taking orders from authority very well. Rex gets into arguments and fights with bosses and law enforcement, and Rose Mary struggles to conform to the idea of a teaching job. She prefers the carefree and self-defined life as an artist, which does not force her to conform to another person's style or schedule beside her own.