What are some examples of irony in The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls?
One of the ironies of Jeannette Walls's story is that she winds up living on Park Avenue, while her mother is rooting through a Dumpster in Manhattan. While Jeannette is surrounded by Persian rugs and wears pearls, her parents are rooting through garbage looking for goods. The irony is that her life has turned out very differently than that of her parents, and the contrast between her life and theirs is striking.
Another irony is that her parents seem to be happy with their life of poverty. They live without excuses or explanations, and they are content with what they have and the life they have chosen. However, Jeannette, while living what many would consider a life of relative ease on Park Avenue, is beset with worries--about her parents on one hand and about what other people think of her on the other.
The book is filled with ironies about Jeannette's childhood. For example, when she burns herself because her parents basically neglect to watch her as a young child, she is taken to the hospital, where she receives attentive care. Her father asks if the hospital staff is taking good care of her, which is incredibly ironic, because it was her parents' neglect that landed her in the hospital in the first place.