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The Glass Castle
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This is my english Paper

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Miracle Petree | 1 comments Mod
Miracle Petree
Melissa Nivens
English 2
November 13, 2012
Success
Jeanette Walls, she is known for her book The Glass Castle, which is a memoir of the nomadic life of her childhood. She is very successful now, even with the home life she had as a child. The question is, does Jeanette Walls owe all of her success to the hardships she had as a child? Some may believe that people never change, or that your childhood is what builds “The Future”. I agree with that, but in this case, it was in spite of her life as a young child. Living in a family that chose to be nomadic, and move from place to place. It wasn’t her fault; she had no control on what family she was born into.
“Come on, Mom.” I felt my shoulders tightening up, the way they invariably did during these conversations. “I’m talking about something that could help you change your life, make it better.” This quote from page 5 in the beginning of the book really catches my attention. The way her mother responded saying, “You want to help me change my life?” Mom asked. “I’m fine. You’re the one who needs help. Your values are all confused.” Obviously, her mother doesn’t want to change the way she lives. She is perfectly happy by dumpster diving, and scavenging for scraps. Jeanette did not want to grow up to have to search for her food and try to survive. If she became the woman she is today by her childhood, she would be in the same boat as her mother. Instead she took charge of her life and made something out of herself. She wanted a better life than that of her parents.
She shook off my hand, and when she raised her head, her face was swollen and red. “It’s not my fault you’re hungry!” she shouted. “Don’t blame me. Do you think I like living like this? Do you?” This quote, off of page 69, signifies that their mother didn’t choose this life either. Jeannette refused to live like that after what she had been through as a child. She was starving! She and her sister, Lori, had to eat margarine because there was nothing else to eat and they were hungry. Her parents helped her become successful as an adult. If she didn’t have the hardships of her childhood, she would not have been as successful as she is now. Becoming the woman she is in spite of her childhood.
“Jeannette, I’m going to give you a SOCK that I want you to put in a safe place,” Mom said once she got in the car. She winked hard at me as she reached inside her bra and pulled out her other sock, knotted in the middle and bulging at the toe. “Hide it where no one can get it, because you know how scarce SOCKS can get in our house.” In Jeannette’s childhood, her mother had to attempt to hide their money from her father. If not, he would spend it on alcohol. Then, after the money was gone, so was the food, and every other thing in the house that cost money. In spite of this concept in Jeannette’s childhood, she now has money. She also offers her parents money if they need it. She does not want to be put in the same place as she was in her childhood and have to run away from the “FBI” or scavenge for leftover food. She wants to be better off and have a better life than she did in her childhood years.
Don’t get me wrong, her parents kept her alive and fed her when they had money. She was not “Well Off” and she did not have an “Easy” childhood. She had to fight for her food, and even make it herself. Jeannette has a better life now than she did as a child, and all of that is in spite of her childhood. She did not want to live like her parents and be nomads that traveled everywhere, never enrolling their kids in a school for years, or even long enough for them to make good friends. All of her success and fame is definitely owed to her childhood life, but only because she has become the woman she is today in spite of it.


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