The Impact Of Bad Parenting In The Glass Castle By Jeannette Walls

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The Impact of Bad Parenting Each and every parent has their own style of parenting. Each parenting style is based on certain beliefs and conventions that are used to teach children to become increasingly self-sufficient as they age. The novel “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, explores the unusual ways that Rex and Rose Mary Walls’ raise their children. Generally, parents will attempt to keep their children out of harm’s way by any means necessary, although, in “The Glass Castle,” this is not the case. Rex and Rose Mary Walls' unconventional, relaxed style of parenting teaches their children Lori, Jeannette, Brian, and Maureen to be self-sufficient at a young age. Throughout the novel, Rex and Rose Mary Walls are absent when it…show more content…
She says, “If we asked Mom about food—in a casual way, because we didn't want to cause any trouble—she'd simply shrug and say she couldn't make something out of nothing. We kids usually kept our hunger to ourselves …” (Walls, 42). The fact that Jeannette and her siblings are afraid that they will get in trouble if they ask about food, and they usually do not talk about their hunger because of that fear, shows how much their parents expect them to do for themselves. Rex and Rose Mary do not want to hear about their children being hungry and prefer that they find food themselves instead of having Rex or Rose Mary find food for them. When the kids do tell Rose Mary about their hunger, she shrugs it off. Around the same point in time in the novel, Jeannette and her sister Lori get so hungry that they resort to eating margarine and sugar. When Rose Mary discovers that the girls ate the last of the food in the house, she gets upset and says “It's not my fault if you're hungry" (Walls, 43). When she gets upset and says that it is not her fault, it implies that if the kids are hungry, then they are responsible for finding food to feed themselves. Most parents ensure that their children always have food, even if money is scarce. Rex and Rose Mary, however, allow the food supply in the house to get so low that their children either end up eating margarine mixed with sugar, or they keep their hunger pangs a secret.

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