The Children's Bureau publicized in their last pole that every year 754,000 children are abused or neglected by a parent. This consists of abuses such as physical, mental, and neglect. The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls, tells stories that Jeannette remembers as a normality. However, it truly opens the reader’s eyes to a new standard for parental neglect. It seems that Jeannette grew up in cases of extreme abuse and neglect, and this causes her to rely on her siblings and gives her motivation to be successful. Jeannette’s parents, Rex and Rosemary Walls, most certainly had an interesting lifestyle causing short and long-term effects for all four of their children. Throughout the book, Rex’s substance abuse and Rosemary’s neglect …show more content…
A commonly known truth is that one should empathize with those they love. It is almost as if Rex and Rosemary do not love their children, or at least don’t know how to properly show their love and affection, as indicated in Jeannette’s stories. Having a sense of self-worth is essential to a child’s development, meaning that they should feel they matter to those they love, including their parents. Rex and Rosemary are both detrimental figures in all four of their children’s life due to the fact that they make them feel worthless. Both Brian and Jeannette are sexually abused by two family members, Erma and Stanley, and when Rosemary and Rex are made aware of the problem, they approach it as the kids’ fault. “She said that sexual assault was a crime of perception. “If you don’t think you’re hurt, then you aren’t (Walls 184).” Rosemary makes Jeannette feel like she is insignificant to her and doesn’t make the effort to stick up for her child. At this point, Jeannette must feel worthless to her mother, bringing her self-esteem to a low. A similar reaction is taken by Rex when Brian is molested by Erma. “ Dad came stomping downstairs , furious at all of us, me for talking-back to Erma and making wild accusations, Lori even more for daring to strike her own grandmother, and Brian for being …show more content…
Yet, these children, especially Jeannette, have an unending love for Rex and Rosemary. This is not uncommon, and in fact, abused children keep coming back to their parents because they have hope that their parents still love them. This is not to say that Rex and Rosemary did not love their children, but one could make an argument that their actions indicate differently. For example, when Jeannette is a young teenager, Rex “pimps” her up and takes her to a bar with the intentions of using her to make money by offering her to an older man. “ ‘Holler if you need me ,’ he said and winked at me as if to say he knew I could take care of myself, that this was part of my job” (Walls 212). Jeannette described that this experience made her feel used by her father and gave her a sense of self-worthlessness. Rex knew that Jeannette had a soft spot for him and he took advantage of this. Jeannette has a psychological scar from this for the rest of her life, and it produced long-term effects of distrust and diminished self-worth. As a child she had been through more than most adults, and in one case she even wakes up in the middle of the night with a child molester in her bed. “One night when I was almost ten, I was awakened by someone running his hands over my private parts” (Walls 103). This all happened due to the fact that her mother and father refused to lock the doors
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In the memoir, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, the Walls family is considered homeless and they are constantly moving from place to place. They constantly find themselves either with a somewhat decent amount of money or at times, no money at all. Jeannette, being one of four children always follows along with and listens to her parents and eventually notices that their family does things very differently than most other families. As Jeannette explains her childhood and how she is being raised by her parents, it is clear to see how different Rex and Rosemary’s parenting style is compared to the parenting style of other parents. 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.
I believe they are inadequate parents. My opinion is based on everything, Jeannette had experienced in her early years as a child, and as a teen growing up in Welch. The first reason why I think Rex and Rose Mary Walls are inadequate parents, is the skedaddle. The skedaddle is something that Rex and Rose Mary Walls used as an excuse to escape the “FBI” and debt collectors (and they had a large sum of debt).
The Glass Castle: Controversial Topics. The Glass Castle is a 2005 book by Jeannette Walls. The memoir explains the author’s life, growing up with her family most especially with her parents who could be described as nomads and deadbeats. Notwithstanding the difficult upbringing, her siblings and she had, Jeannette perseveres and becomes a successful Journalist living in New York City.
As Jeannette matures her connection with her parents, particularly her father begins to diminish. Jeannette didn’t grasp that the way her parents raised them or viewed the world wasn’t normal and as she got older she recognized how selfish her parents were. Jeannette was constantly close with her father, and always showed compassion for him, but when they relocated to Welch it appeared as if her father had changed. Jeannette eventually obtained work and began to save up money so she and her siblings could survive, but her father didn’t approve and eventually sabotaged that plan. Eventually, Rex went to Jeannette and requested money from her, he did promise to pay her back.
In both Kaye Gibbon’s Ellen Foster and Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle the protagonists have to endure life growing up with minimal support from their parents or guardians. Both explore the difficulties they have to face growing up alone and how they overcome it. Child neglect forces children to learn and do things themselves. This level of independence at such a young age causes them to become more responsible than their peers and gives them determination to be different from their parents and learn from their own and their parents mistakes. When parents are absent from a majority of the childs life means that the child needs to provide their basic needs for him or herself.
In the memoir, Rex Walls’ internal conflict, Jeannette Walls’ conflict with Rose Mary, and Jeannette’s conflict with society push her to become the person she is today. Therefore, Jeannette Walls’ owes her success to the hardships she had as a child. To begin, Rex Walls’ internal conflict comes from his inability to provide for his family. Being a father, Rex Walls has an obligation to look after his family and to make sure everyone is looked after.
Her and her siblings are exposed to unideal living conditions and have to learn to take care of themselves, especially due to the fact that their father, Rex walls seems to suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness. Considering Rex Walls symptoms throughout the memoir are linked to having bipolar disorder, he was unpredictable. Jeannette and her sibling’s ability to be resilient despite their father’s bipolar disorder growing up are perfect examples of Max Lerner’s quote “the turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt” and has let them get far in life even with everything they had to
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. During this confrontation between the characters the dad ended up forgiving the children rather than punishing them. Since the parents are so forgiving, the article also states that “authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions”Psychology: What They Are and Why They Matter.” The Four Styles of Parenting.
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.
Rex’s method is not that of many fathers, his being “sink or swim”, providing not only the ability to swim but also a strong metaphor for the reader and Jeannette. This is a representation of not only the Walls’ teaching strategy, also for the struggle to succeed in a life the Jeannette has literally been thrown into. Jeannette takes this idea to heart even though she may not realize it, for her not to succumb to the environment in which encapsulates her, such as Welch and life on the road, she must be able to handle these hard situations and be able to stay
Jeanette’s childhood was shameful due to her parents careless way of living. Throughout The Glass Castle Jeannette hides her childhood just like she from her mother because she is ashamed of what people might think. Jeannette Walls lived a tough childhood because of her parents. They were always moving around trying to find a place to build a glass castle. They never gave any of their children a set home while they were growing up.
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.
Sadly, she is abused by multiple offenders, such as her uncle, her employer, a classmate, and most importantly, her own father. Although her father does not molest her, he exploits her in other revealing ways. Sexual exploitation is when a child is sexually abused so their parent/caregiver may gain something in return (Schwartz-Kennedy, Beth M., et al 3). On one occasion in the book, Jeannette is exploited when her father is drunk at a bar, and he hands her over to another man to do whatever he wants to her (Walls 212-213). According to The International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, one in five underage girls are sexually assaulted by an adult (Schwartz-Kennedy, Beth M., et al 19).
As a child, Jeannette Walls moves around constantly with her family. The Walls family would move to different desert towns and settle as long as Mr. Walls can hold a job. When sober, Mr. Walls represents a charismatic father who loves his children and teaches them important life skills. He encourages imagination inside of the Walls kids and often captures their dream and creativity. Together, the family had planned to build a glass castle that contains all of the family’s hope and inspiration.
After graduating middle school her friend lost touch with her and eventually left her life for good: “By the time she got to Welch High Dinitia changed.” Jeannette was also sexually harassed by one of her friends in Phoenix while playing hide-and-seek: “Billy smushed his face against mine… ‘Guess what?’Billy shouted. ‘I raped you’” Lastly, while going to school in Phoenix Jeannette was bullied for being smart and skinny: “The other students didn’t like me much because I was so tall and pale and skinny and always raised my hand too fast… A few days after I started school, four Mexican girls followed me home and jumped me in an alleyway…”