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.
Since their parenting style is so different, it seems that it affects their children in a negative way throughout their childhood, but in the end it makes Jeannette become a better and more successful person. 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.
This causes Jeanette to feel proud of her father for worrying about her because she does not know what she is getting into by going to New York. Rex is trying to be protective but also helpful at the same time to keep his kids safe when he's not around. Rex is helpful when he finds out Jeannette can't pay for her college tuition and he wants Jeannette to have a good education, “Dad called a week later and told me to meet him at Lori's. When he arrived with Mom, he was carrying a large plastic garbage bag and had a small brown paper bag tucked under his arm. I assumed it was a bottle of booze, but then he opened the paper bag and turned it upside down.
A very distinct quintessential of resilience from the memoir is the loyalty of the Walls children to Rex and Rose Mary even within these struggles they’ve faced. Parent and children fights happen quite often, but usually do not last too long, it is a basic unit of most relationships. With Rex constantly getting drunk and not fully providing for his family, Jeannette tells her view on how she still loved her father and connected with him, nonetheless. Rex once told his daughter, “I swear, honey, there are times when I think you’re the only one around who still has faith in me,” (Walls 78-79). Rex may seem like a tough, hard, southern guy when in reality, he has a soft heart for his family, even when he does show it.
Jeannette Walls depicted an epoch of misfortune and adversity in her memoir, The Glass Castle. Jeannette and her 3 other siblings were all in a constant struggle to survive. Rex and Mary, the parents of Jeannette and her 3 siblings, were often in a constant dichotomy between submitting to self-interest and supporting the family. Having misfit parents, Jeannette and her 3 siblings were often independent and left to fend for themselves and for the family as a whole. In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls evolved the theme of ideal versus reality throughout her memoir though her countless anecdotes of her father and his unattainable plans to find gold and to build a home, named The Glass Castle, for his family and her mother’s dream to become a professional and well redound artist.
On page 155 of Jeanette Walls’ memoir, Glass Castle, Walls describes how after the family settles down in Welch, she and her brother Brian decide to make the best of the situation they are in. Ninety-three Little Hobart Street is a “dinky thing perched high up off the road on a hillside...painted white a long time ago, but...turned a dismal gray” (Walls 150). Jeanette and Brian scavenge a shovel and a pickaxe. Then, the two build the foundation for the the Glass Castle of their dreams behind the dingy home. After a month, their father orders the children to fill the foundation with garbage.
In the book The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls, the narrator displays her parent's parenting skills as authoritative. According to Cherry, Kendra. “Psychology: What They Are and Why They Matter.” The Four Styles of Parenting. she defines authoritative parents as being “... more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishment”.When Rex got upset about the Erma incident with the children “ I don't want to hear another word of this. Do you hear me” Walls 148.
When Rex and his family moves to Welch he changes from before and becomes really irresponsible. When Jennette and Rosemary are arguing about if Rosemary should leave Rex,things got heated and Jennette walked off and then Lori went and talked to her and said “She needs to be firmer, lay down the law for dad instead of getting hysterical all the time,” (Walls,208). This quote shows that Rex walks all over Rosemary so that he can get it his way and chose no be irresponsible. Rex doesn't understand that he needs to help his family and that he can’t keep on stealing money and expect everyone to be happy with him. Rex Walls can’t save himself or his family because of how irresponsible he is.
Right now the is a part where Jeannette is living in New York and most of her family is still in Welch. “ Dad was drunk all the time except when he was in jail; Mom had completely withdrawn into her own world; Maureen was more or less living with neighbors”(Walls 249). This is just there family falling apart in Welch and has many problems and they need to find a solution fast. Last,this is a very bad ending for Rex and now Rex will find out why he should not done all those bad things. “It's just the machines keeping him alive at this point” Mom said;(Walls 280).
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.