The Glass Castle, a both heart throbbing and emotional story written by Jeanette Walls shares her life through her child eyes. Walls grew with a different lifestyle than what we would normally see today.
A family that isn’t much of a family but is a sense of stability and security to her. Throughout her life her family has been through hunger, unstable homes, a drunk father and very little of outer family relationships. She struggled along with her brother and sister but with free-spirited parents for her that is all she needed. Jeanette discovered a foundation. The family may be dysfunctional but there was a connection that was unbreakable. In Walls’ memoir she tells that “..
.family stretched out on the benches and the floor of the depot and read, with the dictionary in the middle of the room so we kids could look up words we didn’t know…
” (Walls 56) For being a dysfunctional family mom and dad were always education their children. Whether it be at home or on the road running from the “FBI”. Luckily Rex and Mary Rose were intellectual which provided the Jeanette and her siblings with some knowledge as they were always on the move.
“In my mind, dad was perfect.” (Walls 23) Rex would often share his “expert” knowledge in many of scientific studies and this alone started an almost good foundation within the family. Within the family, Jeanette and her siblings know they had each other to depend on when their mother and father were not up to the plate.
As they stated with their grandmother while they were in the move Erma shared, “No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids. Unloved children grow up to be..
.alcoholics.” (Walls 83) This quote is more of a futuristic quote from the book. Reading The Glass Castle, the children weren’t necessarily “loved” but they were taught lessons that would better them in the future if they had acknowledged how they were raised and today Jeanette did.
The quote consisted of complete irony. They were not loved as you love a child today but they did not grow up to be alcoholics. Jeanette also shares, “Mom felt that Grandma Smith nagged and badgered, setting rules and punishments…” (Walls 21) All the rules Grandma Smith set led Mary Rose to be the “free-spirited” mother she was but that did not define her children. Jeanette Walls had a sense of responsibility when her parents didn’t have any. When it came down to Walls’ younger sister she says, “At times I felt like I was failing Maureen, like I wasn’t keeping my promise that I’d protect her.” (Walls 206) Structure. Through misguided trials with the family the children picked up on things they knew or at least felt what a family should be and act like. She strives for protection.
Their mom and dad are not exactly the foundation of the family but the struggles built a strong relationship between them and the children. Mary Rose did not have a stable nor comforting way of showing that she was proud of her children. Mom says, “My children were all postmature.
That’s why they’re so smart. Their brains had longer to develop.” (Walls 10) Mom believed that her children were smart which stimulated a good state in their relationship. I believe this is was the only connection between Mary Rose and her children they had a sense that mom was proud of them. Finally, the Walls family is not the greatest family. Not even the slightest but the building of all the trials and struggles the family grew together. Jeanette and her siblings established independence and strength through their mother and father’s errors.
They were judged as they were exposed but the family had layered their foundation and dependability. As dysfunctional as this family was they still had each other. Family was what brought them together and what made Jeanette preserve to become successful today.