The Glass Castle

The second startling theme in the book

The memoir has two startling introductions. In the second one, where Jeannette gets burned, why did the author choose to write that? (What is its purpose?) What does it tell us about the author and how does it introduce the theme?

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Fire resurfaces frequently as a theme in The Glass Castle. As Jeannette suspects, it follow her around, becoming a fixture in her life. The very first, and perhaps most pivotal fire inspires Jeannette's first memory, of being burned while cooking hot dogs at the age of three. Though she suffers extreme injuries, fire becomes a fixation for Jeannette, who cannot keep herself from playing with it and watching it. The work contains a number of other fires that claim houses, sheds, and injure other characters. It can be said to represent a trend of chaos that is both natural and staged by man. The theme of fire relates closely to other themes concerning nature and pollution that also appear in the memoir.