The Glass Castle Literary Analysis

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The Enlightenment of a Hedonistic Adolescent I can gladly say that The Glass Castle, a memoir of Jeannette Walls’ deplorable childhood caused by her alcoholic father and slipshod mother has changed the way I look at my life. The most prevalent insight that I gained from The Glass Castle is the sorry plight of poverty. The phrase “you have no idea how lucky you are” has been a hackneyed expression of my fathers for as long as I can remember. To be honest, as a spoiled twenty-first century adolescent, the phrase didn’t mean much. The Glass Castle helped me comprehend how opportune and fortuitous my life is. This tragic memoir furthermore helped me gain insight into the downfall of an alcoholic father and the devastation of domestic abuse.…show more content…
Even imagining myself living in Jeannette’s nightmare of a childhood is nearly impossible. Although my living situation is almost a polar opposite to that of Jeanette, in this case the most drastic differences between people have the greatest impact. Growing up in jaded, self-indulgent suburbia where things aren’t wanted, but expected, has dulled my senses almost past the point of repair. The heart-wrenching memoir of Jeanette in The Glass Castle provoked the long lost feelings of thankfulness, patience, and worth. Until I detach myself from the mindset of a pampered teen, I can honestly say that I “have no idea how lucky I…show more content…
In The Glass Castle, the nucleus of the family’s deprivation is Rex’s alcoholism. The major insight that I extracted from the book about alcoholism is that an alcoholic not only harms himself, but brings their family down as well. In the beginning of the book, the Walls children were exposed to Rex’s alcoholism as described as his “beer phase.” (pg. 23). The naiveté of the family soon faded but by the time that concern arose, he was beyond the point of salvation. The rest of the Walls family was worn-down from Rex’s drinking and became submissive. One night when Rex returned home from several nights of binging he exclaimed, “’Rose Mary, your one hell of a woman’…Mom told him he was a stinking rotten drunk. ‘Yeah, but you love this old drunk don’t you?’…Mom first said no, she didn’t, but dad kept asking her again and again, and when she finally said yes, the fight disappeared from both of them.” (pg. 122). Not until reading this book did I completely grasp the noxious actions of alcoholics and the magnitude of the damage caused to the ones they
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