Parental Influence In The Glass Castle

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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. Children are dependent on their parents to…show more content…
When Jeanette believes she see’s something moving under her bed, she is frightened and goes to her father for help. Rex refers to it as the demon and begins to look for it with Jeanette. At the same time, he tells a story of scaring off the demon in the past, saying, “that was the thing to remember about all monsters; they loved to frighten people, but the minute you stare them down, the turn tail and run” (37). With this metaphor for life, Rex explains the importance of facing challenges with determination and courage. He ensures that Jeanette understands significance of never giving in to fear and the importance of persevering against doubtful situations. He conveys that Jeanette can become triumphant over anything she puts her mind to; as long as she is confident, she can overcome any obstacle in life. In a similar way, when the Walls go to the Hot Pot to swim, although her siblings know how, Jeanette does not know how to swim. In an attempt to teach her, Rex heaves her into the middle by herself, only saving her when she starts to sink. He continues to throw her out into the water repeatedly, saying, “you can’t cling to the side your whole life; one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is ‘if you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim’” (66). Using another metaphor for a life lesson, Rex ensures that Jeanette understands that no one will do everything for her in life, and if she does not learn how to take care of herself, she will never survive in the world by herself. It is crucial to Jeanette’s development that she recognizes the need to be independent and to acknowledge the drive and determination required to succeed in life. Without the ability to persevere and push oneself past their fears, a person will inevitably fail, something Jeanette will not tolerate. In another example, while
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