Theme Of Alcoholism In The Glass Castle

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One persistent issue presented throughout The Glass Castle is alcoholism. Rex Walls, Jeanette’s father, suffers from severe alcoholism which not only has a negative impact on him, but on the entire Walls’ family. The book demonstrates just how much of a toll an alcoholic parent has on their children. Due to his severe drinking problem, he became emotionally unconnected and neglectful towards his children and abusive both physically and emotionally to his wife. Although Rex was an intelligent and gifted man, his family lived in poverty due to his inability to sustain a job. When he managed to sober up and get a job, he would relapse and stop going to work just to drink. Alcoholism is still a widespread issue in families today causing psychological, emotional, and physical pain to everyone involved. Alcoholism is sometimes a result of negative environmental factors a person has faced in his or her life. This was the case for Rex Walls. His mother, Erma, sexually abused him at a young age causing him mental and physical harm. Sexual abuse makes victims thirteen times more likely to abuse alcohol ( ). This would explain why Rex drank so much; he used it as a coping mechanism once he entered adulthood to escape the trauma that he had to experience. When sexual acts are imposed on a young child, their brain hasn’t yet developed an understanding to consent to these acts ( ). Although people can sympathize with Rex, him drinking to escape his problems only made
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