The Glass Castle Essay

Words: 1707
Pages: 7

The Power to Overcome
Sid Udayan
January 10, 2012
Ms. Skakic

It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities. This is evident in Jeannette Walls’ memoir, The Glass Castle, which reiterates the story of Jeannette who is raised within a family that is both deeply dysfunctional and distinctively vibrant. Jeannette is faced with numerous barriers throughout her life. Despite the many obstacles set forth by her parents during her childhood, Jeannette develops into a successful adult later in life. One of these obstacles is the lack of a stable home base moulds her into the woman she grows up to be. Throughout her life, Jeannette must cope with the carelessness of her
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69). Jeannette challenges her mother for the first time by breaking one of her unspoken rules, that their lives are a long and incredibly fun adventure. She is finally able to realize that Rose Mary is selfish and puts herself in front of her family, forcing Jeannette to take on more responsibilities within the family in order to provide for her siblings. Rose Mary’s inability to provide for her family stems from the fact that she is simply lazy. She has a teacher’s degree and only attempts to find work when times are utterly grim, but she eventually quits so she can devote more time to herself instead of her family; “’It’s time I did something for myself,’... ‘It’s time I started living my life for me.’...‘Why do I always have to be the one who earns the money?’... ‘You have a job. You can earn money. Lori can earn money, too. I’ve got more important things to do,’” (pg. 218). It is significant that Jeannette sees that although her mother has the opportunity to work, she refuses and once again puts her needs before those of the family. The opportunity to work however is, embraced by Jeannette who wants nothing more than to help her family when they are in need. As such, she looks for work wherever she can find it, while Rose Mary remains unemployed. Unconditional loyalty is another trait that Rose Mary possesses which Jeannette is unable to understand. How her mother can accept and live with the abuse of her father is an