The Glass Castle – Abuse Writing Assignment 1

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The Glass Castle


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The Glass Castle

Using the provided quotes from The Glass Castle, and support from a provided article, explain how Jeannette Walls was a victim of child abuse.  Make sure your quotes properly support your argument and are integrated into your response.  Your body paragraphs should be written in ALICE format. 

Thesis statement (one sentence focusing on two main points):

Body paragraph 1 (focusing on FIRST main point from thesis statement):

Body paragraph 2 (focusing on SECOND main point from thesis statement):

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The Glass Castle Quotes About Abuse:

“I am your mother, and I should have a say in how you’re raised” (Walls 26).

“Mom felt that Grandma Smith nagged and badgered, setting rules and punishments for breaking the rules. It drove Mom crazy, and it was the reason she never set rules for us” (Walls 21).

“Some parents worried that their kids might get hit by lightning, but Mom and Dad never did, and they let us go out and play in the warm, driving water. We splashed and sang and danced” (Walls 16).

“If you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim” (Walls 66).

“We had no pillows, but Dad said that was part of his plan. He was teaching us to have good posture. The Indians didn’t use pillows, either, he explained, and look how straight they stood” (Walls 18). 

“‘It was the only thing to eat in our house,’ I said. Raising my voice, I added, ‘I was hungry’” (Walls 69).

“You’re not supposed to laugh at your own father, ever” (Walls 83). 

“He simply waited for me to fork over the cash, as if he knew I didn’t have it in me to say no” (Walls 209).

“She’d been reading books on how to cope with an alcoholic, and they said that drunks didn’t remember their rampages, so if you cleaned up after them, they’d think nothing had happened. ‘Your father needs to see the mess he’s making of our lives,’ Mom said. But when Dad got up, he’d act as if all the wreckage didn’t exist, and no one discussed it with him. The rest of us had to get used to stepping over broken furniture and shattered glass” (Walls 113).

Unloved children grow up to be serial murderers or alcoholics” (Walls 83).

“At times I felt like I was failing Maureen, like I wasn’t keeping my promise that I’d protect her–the promise I’d made to her when I held her on the way home from the hospital after she’d been born. I couldn’t get her what she needed most–hot baths, a warm bed, steaming bowls of Cream of Wheat before school in the morning–but I tried to do little things” (Walls 206). 

“‘Okay, kids’ Dad said, ‘the civilians are revolting. We better skeddadle'” (Walls 109). 

“When Dad went crazy, we all had our own ways of shutting down and closing off, and that was what we did that night” (Walls 115). 

“‘Your father’s the only one who can help himself,’ Mom said. ‘Only he knows how to fight his own demons'” (Walls 117). 

“Just remember,” Mom said after examining the blisters, “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”  “If that was true, I’d be Hercules by now,” Lori said (Walls 179). 

“Being homeless is an adventure” (Walls 255). 

“We may not have insulation,” Mom said as we all gathered around the stove, “but we have each other” (Walls 177). 

2/20/2018 Moving is tough for kids | Psychology Today 1/7


The New York Times recently summarized ( udiedMoving.html?_r=1) new research on how kids are affected by moving. With this long, dragged out recession, the disruptions caused by the Gulf Oil disaster, and the foreclose crisis, hundreds of thousands of kids are going to be packing boxes and finding new homes. That won’t make it any easier.

This is a touchy subject for me. I moved ten times during the first 25 years of my marriage ( My oldest son moved five times before college (a touchy, touchy subject), and my youngest has moved three. Most professors have virtually no control over where they work – there are a limited number of jobs in very specific topics and many more well qualified PhDs than academic positions. Required moves is one of the many stresses in the lives of academics and many other professions.

And then there’s the effect on their kids.

The bad news. As the new study published in the Journal of Social and Personality ( Psychology documents, frequent moves are

Nancy Darling Ph.D. Thinking About Kids

Moving is hard on kids who leave and those who stay Posted Jul 11, 2010

Moving is tough for kids


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tough on kids and disrupt important friendships. These effects are most problematic for kids who are introverted ( and those whose personalities tend toward anxiety ( inflexibility.

Specifically, adults who moved frequently as kids have fewer high quality relationships and tend to score lower on well- being and life satisfaction. Fortunately, the results – like all findings in psychology – are more nuanced than that. One major reason that kids are negatively affected by moves is that moves are often precipitated by problems – a divorce (, job loss – that are tough on the family.

Or the family moves because one parent’s job requires it, but this mean the other parent (usually mom) loses theirs. When parents are stressed and upset (and trust me, moving is always stressful) their parenting ( suffers and the kids always, always always notice. Moves are also hardest on kids in the midst of other transitions – like puberty ( and school changes. Middle school seems to be the toughest time to make a transition.

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When parents support each other and work hard to make the move as easy for the themselves and their kids as possible, negative effects are minimized. When moving is fairly normative – as for military families – and the receiving school has many kids who move or have peer networks that are relatively open so it is easier to enter into new social circles, negative effects are minimized. Like most processes that have negative effects on social relationships, meaning (e.g., we’re making this move to keep the family

together), mutual support (I know this is hard, but we’re working to make it as easy as possible), and flexibility help both parents and kids in the adjustment.

The child left behind. Now that I think we have finally, finally, finally settled in and may yet live to remove all the moving stickers from our furniture, I am seeing this from the other side.

We have always been the ones who moved. I don’t remember my kids ever being the ones left behind. It was usually the same with me as a kid. It used to make me both sad and angry when I’d hear people

2/20/2018 Moving is tough for kids | Psychology Today 3/7

in my La Leche League support group warn each other – don’t make friends with anyone from the college who isn’t tenured – they’ll just move away.

Now, being tenured, we are the ones who are staying. And my son’s best friend just moved away.

Like most major transitions (childbirth, divorce) moving is a looooong process, not one that just drops from the sky. Actually, his friend’s moving transition lasted several years, as his family was on the verge of moving at the end of each year and was only reprieved at the last minute. As the end of the contract approached each year, we anticipated the loss of his best friend for several months.

Chronic stress ( differs from accute stress in that anxiety is high, but there is nothing much to DO. You know a loss may be coming. You feel upset and anxious. But you dont know if it will happen or not. My son – at 9 and then 10 and then 11 – would lose sleep ( and feel worried, but didn’t really know what would happen. As a parent, you try to be supportive and put the best face on it, but not set children up for disappointment.

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When the move finally seemed certain, I watched my son’s attention in school hit the floor. Depression ( in childhood ( looks somewhat different from depression in adulthood. In addition to moping, crying, and feelings of sadness, children can also become inattentive, hyperactive (, and act out – yelling, hitting, being defiant or stubborn.

They’re cranky. Fortunately, my son never hit those depths, but his sleep was spotty, his attention was poor, and he was just sad. This, of course, hit his friend as well, who was more seriously upset and, being more extroverted (, more prone to acting out. In dyadic relationships (friendships) when both partners are stressed, relationship quality tends to suffer. You see this in romantic partners heading off to different colleges or

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2/20/2018 Moving is tough for kids | Psychology Today 4/7


about to be deployed overseas. You see it in kids too. Relationship prolems don’t make the parting easier.

Plans for maintaining the relationship were positive for both kids. Technology has changed things a lot and can be used to sustain distant relationships. When I was a kid and my best friend moved, we wrote weekly letters, but never made a phone call. It was 7 cents a minute and that was a lot of money.

Now the kids use the unlimited phone minutes on the cell phone to call each other. They use the internet for free video chatting. Remember the Jetson’s on tv with their video phones? That age is here and free on the computer. Just seeing each other’s faces – and the messiness of our familiar family room and his messy new bedroom – is a comfort.

And video games – which are such a social center for many kid’s lives – can be played on-line. Together. Simple games like checkers and chess or battleship are free. For younger kids, who have trouble maintaining sustained emotional conversations, this is a real blessing because you can talk around and through a game and still communicate well.

You can show a Lego model or a new soccer ball without having to describe it. You can play a blast on the trumpet. You can walk around the house with a laptop and show where you’re living. Shared activities bond people together without the pressure of just talking. This can be particularly important for boys and for kids who are less verbal and more play oriented.

The kids are even planning to continue their Dungeon and Dragon ( left-our-heroes-psychology-meets-d-d) game on-line, with three kids and the Dungeon Master here and the other joining via videoconference. I am sure the kids couldn’t all sit and just talk for two hours. I feel confident ( that they can play a game together.

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2/20/2018 Moving is tough for kids | Psychology Today 5/7

Both kids are kept busy – camp, other friends, and family activities can help ease the gap left by the loss. And all people feel most depressed when they are left alone to brood. Kids too. And although summer is wonderful, those long stretches of time can give kids a lot of time to feel alone and bored ( screen-time-0).

How will this work out? I don’t know. But I’m sure both kids will learn from it. And I know – really, truly know – that they were both better off having had this friendship ( and having lost it through the move than they would have been if they had held off and avoided the relationship just because it was going to end.


Side note: Kids who are economically distressed and those at the top end of the socioeconomic spectrum are more likely to move than those in the middle.

When we were kids and moved to a new town, my parents would immediately settle themselves in – find a new church, joining organizations, and taking on leadership ( roles. It doesn’t take a long time to become part of an organization when you’re the head of the Sunday School or you organize a school bake sale or you volunteer at the Red Cross.

I remember my father saying that one of the reason that families moving through our community had such a hard time is that they just ‘perched’. They came to town not knowing if they’d be there for a year or three or a lifetime. Because of this, they never really committed to staying. They never made friends or set down roots. Although tearing up roots can be really painful, he felt – and I agree – that it is still better than not allowing yourself ever to be part of a community.

2/20/2018 Moving is tough for kids | Psychology Today 6/7

© 2010 Nancy Darling ( All Rights Reserved

About the Author


Thinking About Kids

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Nancy Darling, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Oberlin College.


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Online: Parenting A Child In Chronic Pain: Essays from the Inside ( migraines-ebook/dp/B01HN4HDGY/ref=sr_1_6? ie=UTF8&qid=1467208257&sr=8-6&keywords=nancy%20darling#nav- subnav)

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5 Ways to Foster Gratitude in Children (/blog/thinking-about- kids/201712/5-ways-foster-gratitude-in-children)

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