"I wondered if the fire has been out to get me. I wondered if all fire was related, like dad said all humans were related, if the fire had burned me that day while I cooked hot dogs was somehow connected to the fire I had flushed down the toilet and the fire burning at the hotel." This quote that Jeannette says foreshadows the several events relating to fire that Jeannette will again experience in the future. The picture of the fire seems to have a face which relates to Jeannette’s experience in the hotel in Las Vegas because she felt as if the fire was going to get her just like personification.
|—||This quote is a simile because Jeannette compares herself to a cactus which is highly applicable because just like cactus, Jeannette suffers from eating irregularly due to the financial issues her parents go through. But when her parents had enough money to but food, the kids would have an abundance. Jeannette compares herself to cactus because cactus suffer from drought for years but when rain comes, they gorge themselves to stay endured with nutrients and that way they keep themselves alive.|
Lori, Brian, and Jeannette store money in a piggy bank they named Oz. The name Oz is an allusion to the Wizard of Oz. New York is like the Emerald city in wizard of Oz Because In the Movie “The Wizard Of Oz” Dorothy and her friends journey to the Emerald city to find the oz who they hope will bring Dorothy back home. Just like The Emerald city is Dorothy’s hope to going home, The piggy bank is also symbolized as hope for the siblings to move to start a new life free from obstacles.
The Song “Say” by John Mayer gives a good example of a conflict Between Jeannette and her Father. In Welch, Mom has left for two months to teaching school and gave Jeannette 200 dollars to pay for bills and groceries. However, Dad makes Jeannette’s duties difficult when he constantly asks her for money. Jeannette finally confronts him and tells him that she needs the money to pay for bills and feed children (pg.210). Dad replies by saying “That’s for me to worry about. Okay?- Have I ever let you down?” Jeannette ponders about his question because she wanted to tell him that indeed he has let everyone down. This conflict is an example of dramatic irony because the audience knows that Jeannette knows her father has let her down in many cases but Rex has no clue of her truth. This song’s catchy chorus is a repetitive phrase, “Say what you need to say”, Which applies well to Jeannette because she is holding in what she thinks of her father which will cause him to believe that all the pain he has caused his family is alright. This conflict wrong because Rex needs to know his faults before he hurts others again.
On Jeannette’s tenth birthday, she asks only that her father stop drinking. Readers know well that Rex Walls is a man of intelligence and integrity. He does well to loyal up to his kids. Rex Walls however has had a rough past considering that his mother sexually abused him when he was a child. He unfortunately could not cope well with his dysfunctional surroundings so he uses drinking as a way to cope with his issues. However, When Rex is drunk, he lacks self-sufficiency which becomes difficult for Rose Mary and the kids to deal with. This song is a great interpretation of Rex Wall’s Personality. The song begins as a displacement in life “Lift off this blindfold, let me see again” which well relates how Rex was abused in his early life and wants to see a better life than what he had. “My heart she left a whole” symbolizes the pain Rex’s mother left him. “The tightrope that I’m walking just sways and ties.” Relates to the connection Rex has with alcohol. Because Rex is a loving man to his children, the character he has when he’s drunk contradicts his real personality. The Lyrics, “The Devil as he’s walking with those angel eyes.” gives a representation to Rex’s behavior when he is drunk. He’s a beautiful man in a devils body when he is drunk. “Like a river to a raindrop, I lost a friend” relates well with what happens to Rex when his daughter asks him to stop drinking. Rex believes he has lost the faith of someone dear to him because of his habits. “Fly up to the surface and just start again and lift off before trouble just erodes us in the rain” Represents Rex’s attitude when Jeannette tells him to stop drinking. Because Rex loves his children, especially Jeannette, he wants to make it up to them and wants to show them he has changed. For instance, he plans a trip to leave Phoenix to show his recovery. This change in him shows how desperate he is to change. “Just erodes us in the rain” relates to Rex’s need to change and become better. Since Rex goes through torturing himself as a way to recover from his ugly habits, Rex highlights his strength and loyalty.
Welch, a poor and diminutive town in West Virginia. The Walls family move here when Phoenix becomes too civilized to live in. As the family settle in Rex’s Parent’s house for a few months, Jeannette and the rest of the kids “cause” trouble in the walls home so they then move to a home on 93 Little Hobarty St. which is on a hill enclosed by forests. Rex accepted the house’s unfortunate features simply because it is affordable, Rose Mary feels quite satisfied with the home, and Jeannette on the other hand has a hard time settling in a new home that is filthy and brittle. Welch is a place to start new however, it is also a place where the Walls family completely collapses emotionally and physically. These drastic measure lead to the children wanting to set free and abandon their past and present.
When Rex came down with tuberculosis, Jeannette visited him at the hospital to see how he was doing. Jeannette said, “I thought Dad might be under an oxygen tent or lying in a bed coughing up blood into a white handkerchief, but after a minute, he came hurrying down the hall.” This thought is an example of situational irony because Jeannette expected her father to be drastically sick in a hospital bed yet he was doing the opposite and seemed to look better than what she thought.
|—||Living in civilization doesn’t satisfy Rex Walls very well in the end. After living in Phoenix for a while, Rex feels confused and puzzled in the city. The maze represents the city and Rex compares himself to a rat since Rats are used for experimental purposes like finding the way out of a maze. This statement shows Rex’s preference in being free and away from the city life.|
This video relates to when Rex bought Jeannette, Brian, and Lori bikes. Jeannette says, “It had never occurred to me that one day I might actually own one myself.” The bikes symbolize hope and success since they are receiving items they thought they could never have because of having to deal with the trouble of being in dept. With new bikes, the children suspect that the family is improving economically.
Rose Mary Walls reflects similar qualities to Rex’s. Just like Rex, Rose Mary values self-sufficiency, hence the time Rose Mary allowed Jeannette to cook on her own when she was the age of three. While In battle Mountain, Rose Mary fights with Rex because they believe that one of them needs to attain a job in order to keep the kids healthy. The next morning, Rose Mary accompanies the kids to their school to apply for a teaching job. Mom is also very compassionate about art and dreams of being an artist. However, when her plan fails her to not earn any money to care for her kids, she uses her teaching ability. Because Rose Mary is so determined to be an artist, she disregards her capability to teach which shows her self-centered side because the family needs money to survive yet Rose Mary denies every chance to be a teacher. There are several times in the story where Rose Mary applies to be a teacher but fails to attain it.