All That Glisters explores family relationships and demonstrates the impact that parents can have on their child’s character. It captures the challenges that families can be faced with and highlights the values of love, honesty and respect.
Clare’s father treats his daughter with love and affection, instilling important values in her. Both he and Clare’s mother demonstrate their respect for Clare by being straightforward and honest about the difficult situation of the father’s illness and his subsequent death. Clare possesses positive qualities from her parents, showing herself to be compassionate and kind with a strong sense of self.
Clare’s relationship with Auntie Pauline suffers from an imbalance of respect. Auntie Pauline perceives Clare to be a child not capable of making her own decisions. By refusing to accept Clare’s viewpoint, Auntie Pauline highlights her lack of respect for her niece.
Clare, on the other hand, shows she is capable of respecting her auntie’s feelings while still paying tribute to the relationship that she had with her father. Through this, Clare demonstrates her own maturity that is built upon the values and lessons taught to her by her parents.
Clare is at an age where she will soon be moving into adolescence. Although she is aware of some adult experiences, she is still a child. In this transitional period, she is treated in different ways by different adults depending on how they perceive her, either as a child or as a young woman capable of dealing with difficult situations. In Hieroglyphics, Mary encounters similar challenges.