Jeannette Walls’s book “The Glass Castle” is an incredible story of a family that lives a rough life and barely gets by each day. Rex Walls, the father, demonstrates what a good father is like but also what a bad father is like. Rex has only one significant problem in his life that not only affects him but his family too. Rex needs to change his ways to help the family before he destroys it. The Walls family does not have a whole lot of money saved up because Rose Mary, the mother, does not have a job and Rex cannot keep a job very long. After a few months on the job Rex quits or gets fired so he is forced to do odd jobs that do not pay as well. Since they do not have a lot of money they struggle to buy food for the week. Some days they don’t eat but the children find their food in garbage cans or get it from other families. They also don’t get to celebrate holidays, such as Christmas, like other families do. The children receive crappy presents or presents that would not mean anything to other children.
Rex is brilliant and full of life when he is not drinking, but he has a tendency to go to the bars and spend their much needed money on alcohol. He gets drunk just about every night for whatever reason. If he comes home at all, it is late at nights and everybody is already sleeping. There are nights when his daughter, Jeannette, goes out looking in every bar for him and gets him to come home. Alcohol isn’t the only thing that Rex spends their money on; he also gambles the money away thinking that he will hit it big and they will never have to worry about money again. Besides his drinking and gambling problem, Rex does some psychotic activities such as trying to run Rose Mary over with the car, won’t stand up for Brain against Erma when Brian does nothing wrong, when it takes him a while to realize that Jeannette fell out of the car, takes the children’s hard earned money without them knowing and then lying about it, or when he makes Jeannette go to the bar with him and lets some stranger take her upstairs. A very irresponsible choice he made was when Brian cracked his head open but doesn’t take him to the hospital because Jeannette was already there. Rex states, “Brian’s head is so hard, I think the floor took more damage than he did.” (Page 13) Rex is the only parent around that would not take their child to a hospital after a situation like this. The most irresponsible thing Rex does is breaking a serious promise to Jeannette saying he would stop drinking; he quit for a while but starts up again. That shows his family that alcohol is more important to him than the family and their health. It also shows that alcohol is something that he cannot live without. He is a very irresponsible person for putting them through all of these tough times even though they handle it very well. Yet, for being so irresponsible, he shows that he is a caring father by knowing what is important to his kids. Another huge responsibility he shows is by being present for all of the big stages in their lives such as Christmas, birthdays, or the day they each move to New York. He also teaches them how to survive on their own and that is why he threw Jeannette in the water over and over again, so she would learn to swim. He also teaches his children how to fight and defend themselves without showing fear; they demonstrate that well when they fight off Ernie Goad by making a catapult that throws rocks at him. Rex likes to display his love and affection for his children by creating unforgettable experiences for them and giving them very unique gifs like getting stars in the sky as a Christmas present. Jeannette claims that nobody owns starts and Rex states, “That’s right. No one else owns them. You