Alcoholism In The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls

747 Words3 Pages

It was in the middle of the night, the uneven desert sand lurching the speeding car up and down. Threatening to run Mom over, Dad hollered, “You crazy b****… Get your godda** a** back in this car!”. “You make me, Mr. Tough Guy!” [Mom] screamed back as she desperately ran away. In the memoir, The Glass Castle by author Jeanette Walls, Jeanette often experiences such abusive, violent acts from her father. 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 …show more content…

According to the article, “Alcohol Alert” written by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol “may encourage aggression or violence by disrupting normal brain function. According to the disinhibition hypothesis for example, alcohol weakens brain mechanisms that normal restrain impulsive behaviors… simultaneously, a narrowing of attention may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the future risks of acting on an immediate violent impulse” (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). In Walls’s memoir, Jeanette personally experiences her alcoholic father’s violence in the household. As Jeanette remembers one of her father’s particularly distressful rages, she recalls, “Suddenly, one of Mom’s oil paintings came flying through an upstairs window. Next came her easel. The crowd below scurried back to avoid getting hit. Then Mom’s feet appeared in the window, followed by the rest of her body. She was dangling from the second floor, her legs swinging wildly. Dad was holding her by the arms while she tried to hit him in the face. “Help!” Mom screamed. “He’s trying to kill me!” (71). In accordance to the NIAAA article, alcoholism causes Rex to behave along the lines of the disinhibition hypothesis, which states that when people are influenced by alcohol, it creates aggressive outbursts and a lack of restraint on impulsivity. Jeanette clearly shows how alcohol caused Rex to make impulsive, aggressive decisions and harm the family. And without the capability to assess future risks and repercussions of a decision, Rex almost kills his wife in the process. Struggling to cope with their father’s rages and without a means to restrain him, Jeanette’s family is forced to face Rex’s violent

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