week 5, post #2

part five of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls begins with a man from the child welfare service coming to the house while Jeannette is home alone. Because no one else is home, Jeannette says she cannot et him in and the man says he’ll come back some other time, but he never does. Because of this event, Jeannette urges her mother to get a teaching job, which she does. Around this time, Jeannette starts high school, where she begins working at the Maroon Wave, the school’s newspaper. When the summer rolled around, Rose Mary had left to take college courses to renew her teaching certificate, and Lori was at an art camp, so Jeannette was put in charge of the house. She soon realizes the difficulties her mother faces when her father begins asking for beer money. Jeannette then gets a job at a Jewelry store in town in order to help with the families financial troubles. Around this time, Jeannette and Lori begin plans to leave Weltch and go to New York city. They begin to save up their money and put it in a piggy bank. After about a year of saving, Jeannette comes homes to put more money in the piggy bank but instead finds it smashed on the floor. She immediately knows that her father had smashed it open and taken the money. When Lori and Jeannette confront their father on the matter, he acts as if he has no idea about what has happened. After Lori graduates and is leaving in New York, Jeannette, who is now seventeen, devices her own plan to get to New York. Her parents both seem frustrated with this, but by the end of part five, her father drives her to the bus station and Jeannette then leaves for New York.

Personal Reaction

Part five of The Glass Castle only furthers the obvious irresponsibility that Walls parents both possess. Rex Walls continues to use up the little money that the family has in order to buy alcohol while Rose Mary Walls continues to give her husband this money, spend some of this money on pointless nonessentials instead of buying food, and focus on her dead end art career instead of furthering her teaching. I found it hard to understand why Rose Mary and Rex Walls would continue their filthy habits when it should be more than apparent that they are hurting their children by doing this. Rex Walls should understand that by taking money from his family in order to buy beer, he is not only hurting his family by getting drunk, but also by taking the family’s food money and Rose Mary Walls should know that she is being almost as inconsiderate as Rex Walls for giving him the money. I was also very stunned by the amount of courage the Walls children have. Their parents irresponsibility is all to apparent to them, and yet they are able to work around this obstacle and the other ones they face. During part five, I felt like the Walls children were much more hard working than their parents.

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