The Glass Castle

What are some logos, ethos, and pathos in The Glass Castle?

2 examples for logos. 2 examples of ethos. 2 examples of pathos.

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Ethos relates to the credibility of the person telling the story. This story belongs to Jeannette, and thus, she changes perspective throughout the novel to lend credibility and maintain the persona of the work. When relating childhood experiences, Walls relates them as a child, in a childlike voice. An example of this would be the following statement;

“Mom also believed in letting nature take its course. She refused to kill the flies that always filled the house; she said they were nature’s food for the birds and lizards. And the birds and lizards were food for the cats.”

Walls also deploys the technique of repeating the words of others. Her narrative is told from a child's viewpoint, but she relates phrases used by her parents. We often know that a child wouldn't use specific verbiage, and therefore know, she is repeating the words of others.

“She felt it was good for kids to do what they wanted because they learned a lot from their mistakes.”


The Glass Castle

Pathos evokes emotion and pity. Examples of pathos in the novel would be;

"I was on fire...."

The above quote causes confusion and fear in the reader.

In other instances, the reader is provoked to anger and pity. One example of this can be found on Page 211, where her father uses her presence to hustle pool in a bar. Another example of pathos can be found on Page 186, when the children find a large and valuable diamond ring. Instead of selling the ring to feed her children, Jeanette's mother keeps it on the premise it can replace her wedding ring and boost her self-esteem......

Logos relates to judgement and reason, and as the novel progresses we come to realize (as does Jeanette) that Jeanette's life was made all the more difficult by the often illogical decisions of her parents. Over time, she begins to logically reason the motives (or lack of them) of her parents actions. An example would be Jeanette's understanding of her father's character when she returns home to find her piggy bank broken and empty, "I knew it was Dad, but at the same time, I couldn't believe he'd stoop this low..."