Neglectful Parenting and Valuable Life Lessons in The Glass Castle

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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Learning How to Value Life

"The Glass Castle" is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls, who is both the author and narrator of the book. In this memoir, she relates the neglectful way that she and her siblings, Maureen, Brian, and Lori, were raised by their parents, Rex and Rose Mary Walls. As a result, Child Protective Services (CPS) decided to investigate whether or not they should remove custody of the Walls' children from their parents. For me, good parenting means being able to guide your children towards the real difficulties of life, and I think Rex and Mary Rose are doing just that. In my opinion, this will be a difficult decision to make. The Walls family should not be separated because, even though they are neglected by their parents, they are learning valuable life lessons such as living fearlessly and being responsible. Additionally, we must acknowledge the fact that the parents are educating them. Therefore, although the parents are irresponsible, they are not as bad as some people may think. The Walls children are constantly exposed to dangerous situations, but they are always capable of handling them.

On their house on North Third Street in Phoenix, Jeannette was almost sexually abused by a man from their neighborhood because Mary Rose and Rex left the doors and windows open. Instead of being afraid, they ran after the perpetrator to give him a correction while their parents were sleeping (103). Common children with a lot of affection would not react that way. Because of their parents' neglectful attitude, the Walls children learned how to defend themselves. When Jeannette was young, she burned herself while cooking hot dogs. She spent weeks in the hospital. However, back home, she started to cook again because she was hungry, and no one would do it for her (10-15). Her carefree mother told her, "You've got to get right 

back in the saddle. You can’t live in fear of something as basic as fire” It is probably an horrible thing to say to your child that just got a burning accident, but it true that you cannot be afraid of fire since it’s used to do a lot of things as it happens to cook.

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Some other kids would be traumatized for life but Jeannette faced it. As you can see the Walls parent are pushing their kids to get over their fear which is a good thing to do. When the Walls were in Welch, the elders of the children (Brian, Jeannette and Lori) knew that they should take responsibility by contribute money for the household. So they are bringing extra money to help (196). I guess when you have irresponsible parent like they do have, you just have to learn how to be in charge.

These kids have the ability to think, 'Mom and Dad won't do it, so let's do it.' The parents are teaching the children not to wait for someone to do things for them. That point shouldn't be ignored. While they were moving around, Rose Mary and Rex took the time to educate their children, teaching them mathematics, physics, geology, and how to read. The Walls children are so smart that they could even help their mother with her work as a teacher.

In Welch, when Lori and Jeannette decided to save money to go to New York, Jeannette could do other kids' school homework and assignments in math, science, and book reports and get paid for it (224). Even though she was neglected, she acquired enough skills from her parents that made her good at school. 'The Glass Castle' is a memoir of Jeannette Walls relating her childhood story with her dysfunctional parents. She talks about the neglectful way that she and her siblings (Maureen, Brian, and Lori) were raised.

Through examples, we were able to see that even though Rose Mary and Rex are irresponsible, they aren't as faulty as some people think. Because they taught their children how to be fearless and responsible, and also educated them. So, I suggest that CPS let the Walls family stay together because separating them can cause emotional trauma that can negatively affect their personalities. Society needs strong people like them. The CPS should oblige Rose Mary and Rex to accept welfare from the government and make sure that the children live in a decent environment.

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Neglectful Parenting and Valuable Life Lessons in The Glass Castle. (2017, Feb 03). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/glass-castle/

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