I believe that a strong and supportive family is the most important part of a child’s life. Children who are treated poorly by their family typically have low self-esteem and grow up with problems later in their lives. I believe a family should be a positive, encouraging influence on a child’s life. In the novel, The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls, her brother Brian, and sisters Lori and Maureen, are neglected by their parents. Because of their irresponsible parents, each of the siblings encounter many difficulties throughout their childhood that effect their adulthood, but are able to recover and thrive in the world because of the support of their siblings.
Jeannette Walls, in her memoirs, talks of how she and her brother and sisters where neglected by their parents. Jeannette, Lori, and Brian grew up around the same age and express a similar loyalty towards their family, which the youngest of the four children, Maureen, does not. These three Walls children have a seemingly, everlasting forgiveness towards their unworthy parents. When their parents were not there for those children, they were there for each other, convincing each other that their situation would improve and not to blame their parents for the hardship. Brian and Jeannette were always that for each other when one was in trouble. Jeannette would get picked on and beat up by her peers, and, despite his small stature, Brian would always be there for his sister to help her and protect her. With not only the financial support, but the encouragement of Brian and Jeannette, Lori was able to set up residence and new life in New York. She was followed by Brian, Jeannette, Maureen, and eventually their parents, seeking a better life. Brian, Lori, and Jeannette soon began to grow very successful in their new city lives. I believe that this sort of alliance and support that Jeannette, Lori, and Brian had with one another is the only glue that was able to hold the Walls family together, long after it should have fallen apart.
Maureen was far different from her siblings. She had a very distant relationship with her family, spending most of her time at the homes of friends and neighbors. This remote relationship with her family was ultimately detrimental to her well-being. Maureen’s brother and sisters had a very strong relationship with each other and a sense of loyalty towards their family, which was not present in Maureen’s life. When she moved to New York with the rest of her family, she was not prosperous like the rest of them. She began using drugs and grew even more distant from her family. Maureen’s life became seemingly beyond help. I believe that the absence of a family in her life led to her drug use and depressing life as an adult. I believe that the life of Maureen could have been much different if she were exposed to the loving support of her brother and sisters.
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