Children do not always need loving and supportive parents in order to grow up successful. In The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, not every child needs loving and supportive parents. Although they do love their children, Rex and Mary use very basic parental decisions; the children are very independent and raise themselves for the most part. With the right mindset, motivation and knowledge this can lead to success in life even through the hardest of times. Jeannette was at the lower class growing up, but she learned to survive anyway she could at a very young age.
Considering Jeannette’s parents were not very stable, Jeannette saw that even though she was at the lower side of things, there is always a chance for greatness. A good example of this is when Jeannette tries to explain her survival technique: “We kids usually kept are hunger to ourselves, but we were always thinking of food and how to get our hands on it. During recess at school, I’d slip back into the classroom and find something in some other kid’s lunch bag that wouldn’t be missed-a package of crackers, an apple-and I’d gulp it down so quickly I could barely be able to taste it.”(68)
This is the knowledge Jeannette will have all her life, even though it’s unpleasant, she has this mind set and knowledge to use when she is older, which will come in handy. Mary and Rex seem to have unconventional reactions to their children when they needed help and it’s clear that their children take after them even though it’s not their proudest accomplishment, there “Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said.
It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior. ”(28) This clearly shows how unconcerned Mary and Rex are about multiple situations. Usually a parent would make sure a child was okay but, not Mary and Rex, particularly Rex he takes pride in seeing his children being able to fight for themselves even at a young age, regardless the damage and effect.
Jeannette took some sort of pride, when bragging to her father. As Jeannette grows up her relationship with her parents, especially as her father starts to dwindle. Jeannette didn’t realize that the way her parents were going about taking care of them wasn’t normal. As Jeannette started to age she realized how inconsiderate her parents really were, Mary and Rex had forced their children to move around the country leaving the kids hungry and alone countless nights. Jeannette was always close with her father, and always had sympathy for him.
However, when they moved to Welch it seemed as though her father had completely changed. Jeannette had started to work to save up money so her and her siblings could live, but her father did not respect that. One day Rex went up to Jeannette when no one was home and simply said “’Hon, I need some money. ’”(209) Jeannette would have gladly given him the money, but it was for beer and cigarettes. This made Jeannette feel like he had no regard for her at all. Rex did not care enough to find his own way of getting money for his addictions, let alone provide food for his family.
Jeannette agreed to give him the money, and he agreed to pay her back, but when he wanted to pay her back, Jeannette was staring to realize how sickening her father really is. Finally Jeannette has had enough of this retched lifestyle, so she decides to save up her money for a ticket to New York. Overtime she actually does save enough money to get out, and she does. After only a day being in New York Jeannette landed a job, she’d be taking home eighty dollars a week, Lori and Jeannette found an apartment they could afford.
Things got better for Jeannette from then on, she was on her way to the life she had always dreamed of. She made something out of nothing, which proves anyone has the ability to accomplish his or her dreams. Throughout Jeannette Wall’s life, the challenges and setbacks she faced prove that children do not always need loving and supportive parents in order to grow successful in life, with the proper motivation and charisma anyone can become a successful individual. Even when the children are the responsible individuals compared to Mary and Rex.