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Childhood Thread #1

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message 1: by Michaela (new)

Michaela B | 26 comments Explain how the narrators childhood is different from others and predict how this will play a role later on in the book.


message 2: by Allison (new)

Allison Carey | 27 comments Mod
The narrator seems to have grown up with two parents who care very little about their children and a lot about themselves. Growing up in such an unstable environment, for example "I was on Fire."(walls,9), the author gets straight to the point. Her parents just don't care. At the age of three she was not only cooking for herself but boiling hot dogs!! What kind of parent lets their child use the stove unsupervised? At the age of 3 no less!! I predict this absent mindedness of the child's parents will lead to larger issues through out the book and further explain why she was so embarrassed of her childhood. It also must have shaped her life and her own personal values growing up like that.


message 3: by Sydney (new)

Sydney McDonald | 21 comments I agree with Allison in saying that her parents were awfully ignorant when it came to raising their children. To add to Allison's point that it is awful of parents to let their three year old daughter cook hot dogs by herself, I wasn't to point out that they let her do it again, after spending six weeks in the hospital with burn wounds from it. Accidents due to parental ignorance like this were not uncommon for this family. The main character also describes a time in which her older sister Lori, who was at the time four years old, was wandering unsupervised through the desert, where she went into convulsions, due to a scorpion sting (page 23). On top of that her parents refused to bring Lori to a hospital but instead to a sketchy sounding "witch doctor". Another instance that shows the parents were ignorant in raising the kids, was when the main character's little brother "had fallen off the back of the couch and cracked his head open on the floor", probably because he was not being supervised and the only care he had received was the "dirty white bandage with dried blood stains" that was wrapped around his head (page 24). Also I should point out that my page numbers are really off because I was able to find "Glass Castle" only in large print.


message 4: by Sydney (new)

Sydney McDonald | 21 comments I predict that the ignorance of the parents will get the children taken away from their parents, and led down different paths in life, which would explain the severe differences in lifestyles between the main character and her parents, when she is older.


message 5: by Maria (new)

Maria | 26 comments I agree with Allison and Sydney. This child has had to take care of herself from an age way before double digits and I think that this will lead her to future issues however I think that they will make her stronger and lead her to be a well rounded, independent woman. Even though that sounds like I'm saying neglect will get you success, which is not the case, I think that Jeannette will learn to be a capable adult.


message 6: by Gillian (new)

Gillian | 16 comments I agree that the above statements show the horrible neglect of the narrator's parents and how this neglect is what made her childhood different from others. The fact that he parents let her cook hotdogs all alone at the age of three was a good example of this neglect. After her accident when she caught fire cooking these hotdogs neglect can be seen once again when she's in the hospital and enjoys being there - a place where people are often scared to be - because she's served 3 good meals a day and doesn't need to worry about needing anything, letting us infer that at home her parents don't provide her with three meals a day. I agree with Sydney that the negligence of her parents can end up having her taken away from them. When she's in the hospital the doctors and nurses ask about her injuries and how she got them and if her parents ever hurt her, and I think that this will be a common thing, of people always questioning the competence of her parents and in the end her she will eventually be separated from them.


message 7: by Brigid (new)

Brigid Cruickshank | 8 comments Her parents seem mentally unbalanced and she seems to be more balanced than they were. Is there a way that we can take this questions to uncover something deeper than plot?


message 8: by Sydney (new)

Sydney McDonald | 21 comments However, I also think that Jeanette's parents loved her dearly, just had VERY ODD ways of showing it. For example, when Jeanette burned herself, her mother immediately took her to the hospital (not some witch doctor), using a neighbor's car. Although she remained unnaturally calm, her mother must have been worried enough to take her there, which was against her unconformity morals. Why does she do this? I believe love is the answer. Does anyone agree/ disagree?


message 9: by Maria (new)

Maria | 26 comments I can say that I do agree with the fact that Jeanette's parent must have loved the kids but they also had an undying love for the nomadic lifestyle that they lived and I think that this caused trouble for them.


message 10: by Sydney (new)

Sydney McDonald | 21 comments In addition to this detrimental nomadic lifestyle , I believe their alcoholic father was no benefactor to Jeanette's childhood. However, I think that Jeanette's parents did raise Jeanette decently, as she is a pretty successful as an adult with good morals.


message 11: by Michaela (new)

Michaela B | 26 comments As well in the narrators childhood her constantly moving around and vivid memories will make her different from others as she grows up. The way her tone changes when she is angry with her father yet very quickly forgives him makes me think that eventually she will stop and grow cold to her parents, as seen in the first part of the book.


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