Theme Of Alcohol In The Glass Castle

958 Words4 Pages
“‘I'm scared…” I looked up at the thin swirls of clouds high in the blue Arizona sky. Keeping my eyes fastened on those distant clouds, I took a breath and said, “Do you think you could maybe stop drinking?” (116). Jeanette Walls asks her dad this on her tenth birthday. Rex Walls puts the family in dangerous situations throughout the The Glass Castle with his obvious drinking problem—probably as a result of the abuse he suffered as a child. It is inferred throughout the novel that Rex uses alcohol to cope with the stresses of life—partially those that resulted from his childhood. In The Glass Castle, it is hinted that Rex was sexually abused by his mother. One afternoon while Rex and Rose Mary were out, Erma told Brian that he has holes…show more content…
(148). The journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found a link between abuse and alcoholism. They found the more severe the abuse, the more severe the drinking. Neglect and abuse were the top traumatic experiences that leads to alcoholism. Even though the book only hints that he was sexually abused, this study shows the potential reason behind Rex’s heavy drinking. According to Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research there are two important reasons for this studies. “First, it supports the notion that genetics alone are not sufficient to account for a person’s vulnerability to addiction. Second, the results point a direction for areas that need to be explored in treatment.” In The Glass Castle, three out of the four kids did not drink like Rex. Moreover, if alcoholism was genetic they all would be alcoholics. Fortunately, as far as we know, their life’s turn completely around for the better. Throughout the novel, it can be construed that deep down Rex loves his children; but, alcohol somehow over rules his love and alcohol comes first. For instance, Rex and Rose Mary go into a bar and left the kids in the car for hours. When they finally come out, Rex had a cigarette in one hand and a beer in other while driving. While impaired, Rex makes a sharp turn over railroad tracks. In an instant, the door flew open, and
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