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The memoir “The Glass Castle” was written by a woman named Jeanette Walls, who describes her childhood of growing up extremely poor with an alcoholic dad, a stubborn mother, and three siblings, Lori, Brian, and Maureen. Often neglected by her parents, Jeannette Wall endures a difficult, impoverished childhood and is viewed by others as an outsider. Jeanette’s parents, Rex and Rosemary Walls Both have a riveting way of showing love for their kids. Both parents conveyed extensive neglect and questionable parenting techniques regarding their four children. Rosemary spends much of her time immersed in various artistic projects, though never ones that can support the family. Rex Walls was a smart but unruly patriarch of The Glass Castle‘s real family. He was a former Air Force pilot and had vast knowledge of science, physics, and engineering. Both parents had arguably many flaws but despise all these characteristics, I believe that Rex held the more positive impact over the children through his impulsive parenting method.

I think that all children learned many important lessons from their parents, good and bad. But, In acknowledging the internal and external struggles of the Walls family, I can confirm that Rex had more positive impacts on the children, by frequently promoting vital principles that served as a foundation for the children’s success in the future. Rex says that he “has faith in [Jeanette’s] plans for the future. ‘ implying that he believes his children will have a successful future regardless of the trauma that they endure throughout the novel (Walls 119). Although Rex has made some very bad decisions, they have influenced the kids by making them more individualistic.

Rex hopes that one day he will make his family rich and build them a glass castle. Unfortunately due to his abusive past, economic situation, and his inability to hold a stable job to provide for his family, he resulted to alcohol for comfort which made him a very unstable role model. Despite his actions when he is drunk, he is a positive influence as he teaches his children how to be independent and strong. Rex fosters independence by refusing to allow his children to get too comfortable in one place. Rex would inform the kids that “it was time to do the skedaddle.” and he would move the family from place to place no matter the circumstance (Walls 20). Forever moving the kids around might have been viewed as a negative thing but it prevents them from becoming too dependent on other people in their lives. Jeanette even expresses her love for doing the skedaddle by implying multiple times that she “wished [she]could do the skedaddle”(Walls 123). Rex let the kids use their imagination and gave them hope. Rex did his best to make this more of a happy thing for the children by continuously telling them, that they were simply just going on another life adventure.was just another adventure.

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I do believe that Rex was the more positive influence in the children’s lives but that does not necessarily mean that he was the better parent. I think that Rex may have negatively affected the kids in their childhood, but positively affected them in the long run. I believe this because since the children saw valuable money being taken away from them, violence that came with alcoholism, and having to live in poverty partly due to Rex’s alcoholism, they absolutely did not want that for themselves as grown adults. Rex also seems to truly care when one of his children gets hurt. When their baby Mary Charlene passed away, the “mom never seemed upset about her death” (Walls 28). Whereas, if her name ever came up in front of Rex “his face grew stony and he’d leave the room” (Walls 28). Rex reassured them that he really cared about his children and he was not only their father but their friend as well. The Walls children many times had to make their own money, steal food, or starve a night or two because of their lack of money. This might have not been the case had Rosemary applied herself. Rosemary had many opportunities to make money and give a better life to the kids but instead, she refused and rejected all chances she had.

In most situations throughout this book, most people would view Rex very negatively because Rex cared more about his addiction to alcohol and cigarettes than his children and their need for food. Not only did Rex spend the needed money on alcohol, but he also came home in a violent rage after being at the bars all night. Jeanette describes, “ He broke windows, and smashed dishes and furniture until he’d spent all his anger.” (Walls 112). The family already had the issue of Rex not being wise about his money spending and now they had the issue of him being extremely violent. There is no excuse for this behavior, and it is obvious that Rex Walls made some very bad decisions, but Throughout the novel, Rex was aware of his wrongdoing and he did his best to make the most of the worst and make the kid’s lives memorable and more enjoyable.

In acknowledging the internal and external struggles of the Walls family, I think that Rex had more positive impacts on the children because even through all his wrongdoings, he still did what he could to make the kids’ lives more joyful. He taught them the values of everyday life, and he cared deeply for the kids and assured them that he was not only their father but their friend as well. Ultimately, I think that Rex may have negatively affected the kids in their childhood, but positively affected them in the long run and taught them many lessons that could help them in the future.

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