The Glass Castle

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  • Published : October 13, 2010
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Essay 1
Jeannette was cooking her own hotdogs at the age of three. While cooking hotdogs for herself, her pink dress catches on fire and is hospitalized for six weeks. Jeannette only being three years old at the time of the accident does not let it rule her life. After being smuggled out of the hospital by her father, she returns to playing with fire. Jeannette was taught to take care of herself at a very young age. She was taught how to cook for herself and to shoot a gun by herself at a very young age. Her parents believed that if you don’t beck-and-call on their child’s every whine or cry, it will teach them to grow up to be tough. This is the problem I find most interesting when looking at Jeannette’s childhood.

Jeannette’s parents not only let her do things by herself that she shouldn’t have been doing at that age, but they promoted her doing things by herself. They figured if she learned from her mistakes early in life, she would become more responsible and tougher as she grew up. After Jeannette’s father took her from the hospital, instead of becoming fearful of fire, she found it to be fascinating. The problem I find with this is that her parents actually allowed her to play with fire unattended, and encouraged her to play with fire. “Dad also thought I should face down my enemy, and he showed me how to pass my finger through a candle flame.” (Walls 15) To be teaching a three year old to play with fire is crazy. Jeannette’s parents were very irresponsible when it came to the fire situation. They should have learned that if her dress caught on fire once, it could easily happen again with worse consequences. A three year old doesn’t is not responsible enough to choose what to light on fire and what not to light on fire. She could have easily set fire to a curtain or herself again. The Wall’s were very irresponsible in raising Jeannette. Although I disagree with the way Jeannette’s parents chose to “raise” her, in some ways they were correct in doing so....
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