The Glass Castle

Good Essays
Students these days are shielded from real world issues. There is a misconception that young people are fragile, so reality is sugar coated. The truth is, life can be a test for survival. Jeannette Walls knows this all too well. Walls experienced a far-from-normal childhood with far-from-normal parents. In her memoir The Glass Castle, Walls reminisces about her youth and her dysfunctional family. Though a very unique experience, Jeannette Walls’ childhood may be able to relate to the lives that some students are living today. The Glass Castle should be offered as a summer reading because it brings very real issues to life. By discussing issues such as poverty, parental neglect, and sexual abuse, Jeannette Walls exposes students to important…show more content…
This is not correct. There are some terrible parents out there. Parental neglect is more common than one would guess. Jeannette Walls knows this all too well. Her and her siblings virtually had to fend for themselves from a young age. This is first shown when Rose Mary (the matriarch of the Walls family) tells a three-year-old Jeannette to cook hot dogs for herself. Rose Mary was in another room painting and singing while toddler-Jeannette was using the stove. This led to Jeannette being severely burned. This type of injury could be avoided if her mother would have just made her the food or at least supervised. Another instance of parental neglect in the memoir The Glass Castle is when Rose Mary pretended to be sick and it was up to the children to get their siblings ready for school. She blatantly refuses to cater to her own children’s basic needs. Lastly, Rex, the Walls’ father, brings a woman that is not his wife into the room and it is implied that he engages with intercourse with this woman. The issue with this is that his son, Brian, is right outside the room reading comics. He is witnessing, first hand, his father’s infidelity. This can cause psychological damage to a child. Parent neglect is not uncommon. Walls brings neglect to the light in her memoir and by doing so, she is helping the children that will read her book…show more content…
Jeannette Walls had to experience adult things while only a child. More specifically, Walls and her family have been victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a large underlying theme in The Glass Castle. An example of this is the patriarch himself, Rex Walls. Rex was abused by his own mother when he was young. Though he does not speak about this and Jeannette Walls does not dive into this, it is apparent that his mother abusing him had a psychological effect on him. This can be seen in his actions such as cheating on his wife and offering his daughter as a prostitute. The latter takes us into our next incident of sexual abuse. Walls was offered by her father to have sex with one of his friends in return for money. Luckily, she was able to avoid having sex with the man, stating that she is “not that kind of girl.” Another instance of sexual abuse in The Glass Castle is when Walls’ Uncle Stanley touches Jeannette inappropriately. After telling her mother of this incident, Jeannette receives no sympathy. In fact, Rose Mary ends up giving her sorrow to Stanley, claiming that she feels bad for him because he is “lonely.” Rose Mary also states that sexual assault is a “crime of perception.” This dismissal and victim-shaming is prevalent in today’s world. Unfortunately, even our youth experience what Jeannette Walls experienced. By including this in her memoir, Walls provides children with the signs of sexual abuse and possibly a way
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