The Glass Castle Review: Taking Your Life in Your Own Hands
In life, we must have the perseverance to do everything in our efforts to succeed even if there are times in which we do fail. The Glass Castle follows the twists and turns, highs and lows, fallouts and reunitings of Jeannette Walls and her dysfunctional but loving family. Jeannette Walls, the narrator, reminisces back on the thrilling adventures, endless memories and the abundant life lessons that intertwined themselves with what her brother, sisters and her, called their hectic lives.
Rex Walls, the dreamer as he was known, was Jeannette’s father and the man she believed in most throughout her life, teaching her through strange situations, essential and memorable lessons to carry. Jeannette’s parents raised their children on the bases of having them be able to face any case without fear, trusting in their ability to handle anything thrown at them. Only our motives determining the notion of sinking to the bottom or swimming on by in life is the lesson that most impacted me. Surviving or failing to at whatever life throws at you is significantly affected by one’s will to either try their hardest and never cower or give in to the very thing that holds you back and never learn. One notable example of this occurs when Jeannette loses faith in her parent’s ability to take care of her or her family, so she takes matters into her own hands stating, “I had been counting on Mom and Dad to get us out, but I knew I had to do it on my own.
It would take saving and planning… It would be the beginning of my escape fund” (221). Jeannette depended on her parents to only want what’s best for her siblings and her, but she quickly realizes that for her to be able to get out of her parents hold and thrive is to do it on her own. Jeannette took matters into her own hands despite the situation at hand and handled it trying to endure on her own. Her motives and ability to try her hardest to help herself and her siblings proved just how hard she would work to survive. Another example that suggests this occurs when Jeannette decides to leave her husband Eric and the life that came with him behind her stating, “A year after dad died, I left Eric. He was a good man but not the right one for me. And Park Avenue was not where I belonged” (280).
This moment symbolizes Jeannette’s sinking period in which she had lost herself to the glitz and glamour and her rediscovery of herself upon leaving that life behind. Surviving was essential to Jeannette never wanting to have to live like her parents but upon looking at who she became and having thought she was surviving she sunk to the bottom losing sight of the person she was and the people who indeed knew her. Jeannette leaving behind her life represents her outbreak from the point in time in which she did cower from the truth of her past life and her ability to now swim back to what is real. Throughout the book, Jeannette believes in her parent’s ability to provide for their family, but as she grows up, she realizes the only way for her to survive is to take matters into her own hands.
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