Irresponsibility In The Glass Castle

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The memoir, The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, centers around her unorthodox childhood, with her parents avoiding parental responsibilities and acting in accordance to their non-conformist beliefs. During some events in the book, responsibility is seen as equal to self-sufficiency in this book, and Rex and Rose Mary encourages Jeannette and the other children to look out for themselves instead of depending on others. Even though Jeannette’s parents were irresponsible and reckless, they managed to instill responsible, independent, self-sufficient qualities within Jeannette, creating a well-adjusted child. Hardships as a child allow the opportunity to develop a thick skin and become resilient. From a young age, Jeannette Walls and her siblings learned how to be independent for their basic needs because of their father’s, Rex, alcoholism, and their mother, Rose Mary’s, carefree attitude and indulgence in the arts. Their attitude …show more content…

Jeannette took on other ways to find food, even going so far to fish food out of garbage cans. “When other girls came in and threw away their lunch bags in the garbage pails, I'd go retrieve them ... I'd return to the stall and polish off my tasty finds.” (Walls 173) Her parent’s recklessness pushes Jeannette to find food in unsanitary locations, instead of depending on others to provide her next meal for her. Jeannette learned how to thrive off of her neglect, thus becoming tough and resilient. An example of this neglect positively affecting Jeannette is when Rex taught Jeannette how to swim by letting her struggle until she was close to drowning. “... you can't cling to the side your whole life, that one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is. "If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.” (Walls 66) This unusual approach to parenting positively affected Jeannette because it forced her to face her fears and become

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