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.
Jeanette Walls faced many horrible events in her childhood. Her parents barely took care of her, which resulted in a very bad experience in her life, when she got caught on fire. One fire symbol in The Glass Castle is when Jeanette, “Lit a match and held it close to Tinkerbell’s face…her face was starting to melt” (16). This newly-melted Tinkerbell doll represents Jeanette because she was also burnt by a fire. After she melts her doll, Jeanette tries to ignore the fact that it is melted, like how her parents ignored the burns on her body after the terrible fire accident. Jeanette’s Tinkerbell doll merely symbolizes the awful events that Jeanette
“Believe in miracles…. Hope is never lost” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland). Believing that the worst is behind them and that they will come upon a better life is the only way that Jeanette Wall’s family is able to stay afloat. In Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle, the symbol of hope is portrayed through a Glass Castle: a real home in which everyone is important and loved. The Glass Castle is the one idea that helps the family continue to grow and move forward even though the Castle has different meaning to each of the members of the family. To Jeanette and her siblings the Glass Castle is a symbol of hope, to the mother, it is a symbol of relaxation and what life would be like without responsibilities, and to dad, it symbolizes every broken promise he has made to his children, but in the Glass Castle, he has not broken a single one.
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. For example, when Jeannette has her accident with fire and explained it to the nurses she gets rather surprised and
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.
In The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls faces harsh stuff through her childhood because of her parents. In the beginning of the book she finds her mother digging through trash. She feels embarrassed, so she turns around and goes home without saying hello. Jeanette then calls her mother and asks to have dinner with her. She offers her mother help because she feels guilty, but her mother rejects her help. Jeanette’s mother then tells her that her values are all wrong. Jeanette opens up to her mother about being embarrassed and passing her up in the streets. When her mother asks her why, Jeannette says, “I was too ashamed, Mom. I hid”(5). This quote also relates to her childhood. 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.
In The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, it tells about how the Walls family move to different desert towns, settling in for as long as their father, Rex, can hold a job. However, his perspective of the state and society, and his alcoholism led them to move frequently. The children - Lori, Jeannette, Brian, and little Maureen- experiences unusual childhood, where they travel like nomads to find new money source. This lead to the theme, sometimes you can be mature and responsible at a very young age. The theme is developed by how Jeannette learns how to take care of herself and her younger siblings, and the way her parent taught her.
Jeannette Walls also uses the symbol of the Glass Castle, which develops throughout the memoir to show how she slowly loses trust in her father as she realises that she can not depend upon him or anyone else for happiness. The symbolism evolves throughout the memoir as Walls evolves as a person. In the beginning of the memoir, her description of the Glass Castle is naive and hopeful. Her naivety is most apparent when Walls writes, “All of Dad’s engineering skills and mathematical genius were coming together in one special project: a great big house he was going to build for us in the desert… All we had to do was find gold, Dad said, and we were on the verge of that. Once he finished the prospector and we struck it rich, he’d start work on our glass castle” (25). Walls’ innocence and optimism for the creation of the Glass Castle is indicated through her belief that Rex really is on the verge of finding gold and building the Glass Castle. In reality, he was out drinking all day, spending money that could have been used to feed Walls and her siblings. She still thinks that her father will follow through on his promises, and in doing so bring her happiness. She is unaware of his deception, which is becoming increasingly damaging to his family, as they have trouble affording food. Furthermore, Walls’ enthusiasm about the Glass Castle, calling it “special” and “great”, communicates to the reader that this is what she perceives to be her dream in life. She believes that the
The walls parents consider themselves to be their kids’ friend rather than a concerned parent. “’ Good for you, Mom said when she saw me cooking. You’ve got to get right back on the saddle”’ (15)… Friends tend to encourage you to do stupid things but in this situation Jeannette’s mother is the one encouraging her to do something not so bright. Rex and Rosemary do not expect their kids to become any greater than they are.
“Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.” The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls has very important life lessons that will teach you to laugh at your tragedies sometimes. The most important lessons are that struggle makes you unique, you either sink or swim, and sometimes crisis makes you realize your potential. In the memoir, you will learn these and accept them. There will be a lot of struggles thrown your way, but you will find a way to get through it and realize it makes you who you are.
Sinking to the bottom of the ocean can signify that, that person is giving up and that they are not willing to fight anymore. Jeannette Walls was raised by parents that believed that their children should learn from their own mistakes. The Walls children were put in danger by their parents various times, just so they could understand that they should not depend on anybody but themselves; the Walls children were taught that living life holding on to the edge could prevent them to take risky chances and lose the chance of having success. In the book “The Glass Castle” written by Jeannette Walls, Rex Walls describes to Jeannette that “If you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.”(Walls 66). This saying was said to Jeannette because
Paul Ryan once said, “Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.” Individuals must strive upon excellence based on the society they are placed in. Watching how others react can help one become the best they can be. Throughout The Glass Castle, Jeannette is exposed to society by her parents. Her parents, Rex and Rose Mary, see society in different means than how others perceive it. They think they can bend the rules and do what they think is necessary. Jeannette is exposed to these understandings, making her the person she grew up to be. Jeanette demonstrates how she struggles with her family throughout numerous portions of the novel: “The Desert,” “Welch,” New York.” These struggles developed and defined who she came to be.
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.
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