The Glass Castle Real World Issues

By: Natalie Waller

Mental Illness

"A person's thinking, feeling or mood may affect and disrupt his ability to relate to others and function in daily life." While they are in Welch, Rose Mary gets a job, at the local school, to help provide for her family. Near the end of the school year, Mrs. Walls was expected to write up evaluations of her students progress, but she spent all of her time painting. That day was the deadline, but they were still unwritten. The mom has a temper tantrum (which were not uncommon) and tells her kids she refused to go to work, so the kids have to force her out of bed. On occation, even though the kids get her out of bed, she would still end up not going. Insead Rose Mary lays around the house all day.

Civil Disobedience

A summary of Civil Disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest. I think that that is a clear example of Rex Walls. He is always making his family jump from town to town to avoid tax collectors or making payments on time. In the beginning of the book Rex steals Jeannette out of the hospital in order to aviod paying the fee.


"Although we are concered with alcoholism in the family, we need to be even more conered with the effects of alcoholism on the individual members of a family." Jeannettes dad harmfully effects everyone in the family when he is drunk. Rex hits his wife, knocks her over, and says curse words. This anger he displays when he is drunk has a negative light onto the children. For example, when Jeannette asks for her father to stop drinking as a birthday present to her. This shows that Jeannette has a problem with her fathers drinking and it effects her.


The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing is a law that gives people that are homeless, according to the definition a place to live. Also it lets them apply for grants as well as going to Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program. This could have given them a place to live when they had nowhere to go. The rehabilitation center would have been benifical to Rex becuase of his alcoholism. If they applied for grants that would have been great for them when they ran out of money.


I do think that the parents should have lost their parental rights. In the article it says, failure to support or maintain contact with the child, in the book there are many instances that Rex doesnt provide food for the children to eat. Rex had long-term alcohol or drug-induced incapacity, he was an alchoholic. These are both things that go on in the book that would have resulted in terminating parental rights.


Educational neglect is a parent or guardian's failure to ensure the child attends school as required by law. In the beginning of the book Jeannette rarely ever attended school. However when the family got the Welch Jeannette and her siblings went to school. In New York, Jeannette didn't want to go to college, but then she decided to go.

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