Alcoholism In The Glass Castle By Jeannette Walls

874 Words4 Pages
Alcoholism is a significant problem in American society. About 20 million people in the United States abuse alcohol and out of that number, around 10 million are addicted to alcohol and considered an alcoholic ("Alcoholism" 1). In The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Jeannette's father, Rex, shows signs of being an alcoholic. His disease puts a lot of strain on the family and relationships within the family and eventually, Jeannette's father dies from heart failure, a common disease caused by alcoholism. Rex Walls can be identified as an alcoholic father by most of the six identifiers of an alcoholic from the American Addiction Center. A person has to go through a psychological exam in order to be diagnosed as an alcoholic ("Alcoholism" 2).…show more content…
According to Jeannette Walls, Rex was a very fun and loving father while she was growing up. Alcoholism affects the good people and the bad people, many in the same ways. However from an outside perspective, Rex Walls' behavior put his children at risk. In The Glass Castle, Rex has many moments where he puts his family's lives in risk, maiming Jeannette's. In one scene, Jeannette and the family go to a water hole to go swimming. This normally would be a very fun activity, but Jeannette does not know how to swim or even float. Naturally, Rex throws her into the deep pool and keeps pushing her back and under the water, making her fear for her safety (Walls 66). This action shows that Rex Walls put no thought into his daughter's safety. This behavior is considered dangerous because his daughter was not properly prepared or trained to be put in such a deep pool without help from her parents. Rex was used to this type of behavior from his alcoholic mind so he did not think much of it, even though he was endangering his daughter. Rex Walls also puts his family at risk by not being able to keep a job die to his alcoholic tendencies. His drinking often makes him lose his job. When he can't find a job do to his drinking habit, Rex ends up blaming it on a completely unrelated topic, like an…show more content…
The American Addiction Center's six characteristics that identify an alcoholic are extremely helpful in Rex's diagnosis. He doesn't possess all six, but the ones that he does possess put his family into constant danger when he is around. Alcoholism in The Glass Castle causes a great divide between Rex and his family and between danger and safety. Rex's daily drinking leads him to be considered a dangerous, alcoholic
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