The Messed up Nomadic Lifestyle of a Family in The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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In the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls the setting changes several times but the book starts off in New York City. The book is about a family and their very messed up nomadic lifestyle, the main character Jeannette goes on to tell about her past experiences and how she moves around a lot for example she lives in the desert for a while. Her childhood tells of her hardships in poverty.

Jeannette’s dad Rex Walls is an alcoholic and it’s his job to keep her and the rest of the family safe. Her mom Rose Mary Walls is an artist and and fights with the dad to constantly take better care of her and the kids. Brian, Lori, and Morrione are her siblings. The children in this family have to go through many things that no kid should ever have to go through in theirs lives. The kids are expected to be self-sufficient, fend for themselves and emotionally deal with the father’s heavy alcoholism and act like nothings going on, this actually ends up instilling good values and a high level of responsibility in Jeannette.

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One of the many hardships Jeannette has to endure is her father’s heavy alcoholism. Rex Walls drinks way too much but when he’s sober he’s actually a good father. When sober he has taught his kids about physics, the morse code, advanced math and more skills, and all of his kids were in put in classes for the gifted and they learned a lot from him in many ways. As the dad’s addiction progressed her started to lose interest in his family and would disappear a lot too make money since he purposely got fired from his job. When the family was starving any bit of money they had Rex would take to feed his habit. After Rose Mary gets a teaching job she tries to hide each paycheck from him but he always gets most of it anyway.

In this quote “He came home in such a drunken fury that mom usually hid while we kids tried to calm him down. He broke windows and smashed dishes and furniture until he spent all his anger…” (Jeannette 112) Jeannette is saying how her dad comes home drunk and gets violent and her mom hides while her and her sibling take care of the danger. This should not be the case but yet again the children must be the parents, the kids are unaware but this has a great affect of their mental development. Children need to have fun and should not need to worry about how they will survive each day.

In conclusion, Jeannette and her siblings were very resourceful and turned a terrible childhood into something that made them stronger, being forced to be self-sufficient at a very young age really shows you what you’re made of and Jeannette saw this and it set her up for success later in life. All throughout the book she was fighting for herself and her family and now she’s doing pretty good, making good money. It just shows us that hardships are not always a bad thing they can turn into something else and make us stronger.

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The Messed up Nomadic Lifestyle of a Family in The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. (2022, Dec 24). Retrieved from

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