Lost Dreams: the Glass Castle

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Lost Dreams: The Glass Castle One of the most important things that parents provide for their children is a stable background: a roof to sleep under, regular meals, and a sense of security. In fact, some turn to a faulty upbringing in order to explain violence, crime, drug abuse or general bad behavior in adult life. However, Jeannette Walls grew up with an alcoholic father and a shiftless mother, neither of whom provided for or protected their children. She was raised in a household where sufficient food was a rarity, traveling around from small town to small town, often living in conditions that to most would be unbearable; yet as an adult, she created a life for herself that she deems comfortable and stable. The Glass Castle is a stirring account of Walls’s childhood, her relationships with her family, and her ability to overcome all the hardships she was faced with. While Walls was a child, she wasn’t totally aware of how negatively most people would view her environment. Even as a young child, however, she could sense how unstable her home was; as she states, “…what I did know was that I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes” (page 34). Her parents were children themselves, in many ways: they could not stick to a budget, keep a job or stay in one place for long, and even though they inherited a large house and land worth up to a million dollars, along with, among other things, “…a hand-carved upright piano, sideboards with antique silver serving sets, and glass-fronted cabinets filled with Grandma’s bone china…” (page 94), they could not even provide their children with two square meals a day. This irresponsibility is perhaps the most shocking thing about the Walls’s situation. Even when Jeannette and her brother, Brian, find a diamond ring in the woods, figuring “…we could sell
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