Social Problem Analysis of the Glass Castle-------the Impact of the Alcoholism

Topics: Alcoholism, Alcohol abuse, Drug addiction Pages: 10 (3458 words) Published: April 6, 2013
Social problem analysis of The Glass Castle-------The impact of the alcoholism
Ying Wan
SWRK 725
Saint Louis University
Professor Shannon Cooper-Sadlo


The paper talks about the social problems presented in the book The Glass Castle. And choose one problem which is alcoholism as the major one to explored in depth. It included the population affected by alcoholism, the history of alcoholism, and the steps to solve the alcoholism problem. It also contained the influence of alcoholism to individual, family, and community. The agency NCADD in St. Louis area was chosen to be the representative of the organizations which are focus on the alcoholism issue. The mission of the agency, how it funded, who it served what serviced it offered, and the social issued that impacted its operation are also discussed in the paper. By integrating the theories from the course human behavior and social environment, writer’s own opinion about the main character and writer’s transformation of value are also demonstrated here.

Key word: The Glass Castle, Social Problem, Alcoholism.


There are various social problems presented in this book. These problems happed and interacted in the family, the community and the society. They also impacted those social systems. The social problems usually involved with a particular area or group of people, and finally effect real life. In the book The Glass Castle, the Walls’ family confronted several social problems. Some of them are generated within their family, and some of problems are generated outside their family, came from the environment they lived in and made them suffered from the problems. The major three social problems the walls’ family faced are homeless, poverty and alcoholism. They are the manifestation of the problems, but also the causes of the problems, they are interacted with one another. Alcoholism caused poverty; poverty led to homeless, homeless is also a trigger of alcoholism. From Arizona to West Virginia to New York, the Walls’ family either initiatively or passively became homeless. Sometime their house had been burn down; sometimes they were kicked out by people who provide their living place; sometimes they escaped from creditors to avoid paying the debt; sometimes they escaped from legal punishment; and at last, in New York, they walls couple have already gotten used to homeless, they had the ability or potential to have a home, but they refused to do that. Instead, they wandered around the street and enjoyed homeless status. The parents haven’t realized, lack of a stable living environment is not conducive to children’s growth, neither physically or mentally. Finally, the children chose to get rid of this life, through their own effort SOCIAL PROBLEM ANALYSIS OF THE GLASS CASTLE 4

they created their family and no longer to be homeless.
Poverty is another issue happened in the Walls’ family very often. They are always run out of food and they can’t make the ends meet. They also always short of the basic living facilities. When the author was young, what accompanied was homeless and lack of education for children. When they roamed in the desert and beach, it would not cause too much damage to their children. Because they were too young to understand, and people lived around them were also in the same situation. But after they moved to West Virginia, the children registered into school, they integrated with people who lived a stable life. They received the value from the outside world other than just their own family value. They can figure out their difference and suffered the starvation and misery that poverty brought to them. They started to struggle and fight by themselves while their parents still live in their...
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