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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Since the Walls family is so poor and homeless it seems that Rex and Rosemary are not always there to give their children the support and comfort that kids need at a young age. Instead of giving love and comfort, they decide to teach their kids how to be tough and how to learn to do things themselves. Unlike most parents, who focus on supporting, caring for their children first, and then teaching them how to live on their own once they get much older. This attentive parenting method is not visible in the Walls’ family. For example, when Jeannette has her accident with fire and explained it to the nurses she gets rather surprised and
I believe they are inadequate parents. My opinion is based on everything, Jeannette had experienced in her early years as a child, and as a teen growing up in Welch. The first reason why I think Rex and Rose Mary Walls are inadequate parents, is the skedaddle. The skedaddle is something that Rex and Rose Mary Walls used as an excuse to escape the “FBI” and debt collectors (and they had a large sum of debt).
In the memoir, Rex Walls’ internal conflict, Jeannette Walls’ conflict with Rose Mary, and Jeannette’s conflict with society push her to become the person she is today. Therefore, Jeannette Walls’ owes her success to the hardships she had as a child. To begin, Rex Walls’ internal conflict comes from his inability to provide for his family. Being a father, Rex Walls has an obligation to look after his family and to make sure everyone is looked after.
Her and her siblings are exposed to unideal living conditions and have to learn to take care of themselves, especially due to the fact that their father, Rex walls seems to suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness. Considering Rex Walls symptoms throughout the memoir are linked to having bipolar disorder, he was unpredictable. Jeannette and her sibling’s ability to be resilient despite their father’s bipolar disorder growing up are perfect examples of Max Lerner’s quote “the turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt” and has let them get far in life even with everything they had to
“If you don 't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim” (41). Although Rex Walls was not always an admirable father and role model, he did make an essential point while teaching his daughter, Jeannette, how to swim. In life, not everything comes without resistance. As Jeannette Walls describes throughout her life story, sometimes people are forced to face hardships that make them question their whole life. However, as seen in her book, it is important to learn to take those hardships and use them to shape one’s future for the better.
As a result of this parenting style “We’re going to Phoenix” Walls 89. They didn’t punish Jeannette for shooting Billy they just blew it off and moved to a different state. In the book The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls, the narrator displays her parent's parenting skills as
Jeannette described that this experience made her feel used by her father and gave her a sense of self-worthlessness. Rex knew that Jeannette had a soft spot for him and he took advantage of this. Jeannette has a psychological scar from this for the rest of her life, and it produced long-term effects of distrust and diminished self-worth. As a child she had been through more than most adults, and in one case she even wakes up in the middle of the night with a child molester in her bed. “One night when I was almost ten, I was awakened by someone running his hands over my private parts” (Walls 103).
Rex’s method is not that of many fathers, his being “sink or swim”, providing not only the ability to swim but also a strong metaphor for the reader and Jeannette. This is a representation of not only the Walls’ teaching strategy, also for the struggle to succeed in a life the Jeannette has literally been thrown into. Jeannette takes this idea to heart even though she may not realize it, for her not to succumb to the environment in which encapsulates her, such as Welch and life on the road, she must be able to handle these hard situations and be able to stay
In the memoir, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Jeannette manages to overcome her obstacles by realizing her independence. She is impacted by her parents’ incapabilities because she realizes that she has to do things differently than other children. Her father was a stubborn alcoholic who believed that: “[they] were all getting too soft, too dependent on creature comforts, and that [they] were losing touch with the natural order of the world”(Walls 106). He believes that every human should be independent and fend for themselves. By using the term “creature comforts”, her father is trying to separate himself from what he calls the civilians.
Her father, Rex, has a severe alcohol addiction that significantly impacts the family’s lifestyle. Rex’s alcoholism leads to emotional instability and frequent, hostile aggression towards his family. One way alcoholism affected Rex, was by causing emotional instability. The article, “Symptoms and help for Alcohol Problems” by author Elisabeth
Parental Influence Parents are the biggest influence upon their children. From the time a child is born to the time they leave the household, the values that the parents hold are instilled into their children. Parents are required to make crucial decisions about how to raise their children in order to guide them through the inevitable obstacles and hardships of life. In The Glass Castle, many would argue the lack of care and responsibility the Walls had for their children. The author, Jeannette Walls, uses Rex and Mary Walls to demonstrate that their strong traits of non-conformity, self-sufficiency and perseverance are passed on to their children, allowing them to develop to their full potential.
When Jeannette is on her way to the bus station to go to New York. Rex is giving Jeanette is favorite knife to protect her, “Dad reached into his pocket and pulled out his favorite jackknife, the one with the horn handle and the blade of blue German steel that we'd used for Demon Hunting. ‘I'll feel better knowing you have this.’ He pressed the knife into my hand” (Walls 240). This Rex is being helpful to Jeannette so that she can have a long life and be safe in New York.
As a child, Jeannette Walls moves around constantly with her family. The Walls family would move to different desert towns and settle as long as Mr. Walls can hold a job. When sober, Mr. Walls represents a charismatic father who loves his children and teaches them important life skills. He encourages imagination inside of the Walls kids and often captures their dream and creativity. Together, the family had planned to build a glass castle that contains all of the family’s hope and inspiration.
ALCOHOLISM How many times have you heard about the consequences of alcoholism? Have you taken them into account? Alcoholism is one of the major problems in society. People don’t take it so seriously but it actually is a disease. The effects of this disease are really serious.