The Glass Castle

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Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

Quote 4

I could hear people around us whispering about the crazy drunk man and his dirty little urchin children, but who cared what they thought? None of them had ever had their hand licked by a cheetah.

This quotation takes place as a police officer escorts the Walls family out of the Phoenix Zoo after Dad breaks into the cheetah’s cage. Jeannette’s lack of embarrassment at the gossiping onlookers shows that she has come to adopt her father’s belief that exceptional people don’t have to play by the rules. At this point in her childhood, Jeannette rationalizes that her life differs from other children’s lives because her family is more special than others. Notably, Jeannette doesn’t notice people’s fear for her safety, which we can assume comprised part of the spectators’ reaction, and instead focuses on their negative assessment of her and her father. This omission highlights that she cannot even consider the possibility that her father would put her in danger. Her retorting comment about the cheetah suggests that she finds their comments petty, perhaps even jealous.