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Alcoholism And The Effects On Family

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Chris Landry

Prof. Horowitz

Synthesis Essay


Alcoholism and the Effects on a Family

Alcoholism, although thought mostly of its impact on the alcoholic themselves, it is also a very present problem in the ruining of his or her friends and their families lives. Someone who may be a fully functional, great person to his or her family may be extremely dangerous, dishonest, and destructive while they are under the influence of alcohol. This instance occurs in "The Glass Castle" with Rex Walls and also occurs regularly in our society today, such as abusive parents, and husbands. Without alcohol Rex was intelligent, responsible, honest, and a overall respectable father figure, but when under the influence he would bring his entire family down mentally and physically. Alcoholism's effects can indirectly abuse a family because of the immense change in behavior and discombobulate the family's daily life in many ways. When Rex promises Jeanette that he will quit drinking entirely for her birthday, Jeannette believes him. Sooner than later this promise is broken and Jeanette is mentally wounded from the let down she endured by Rex. "I couldn't believe he had gone back to the booze"(Walls 23), Jeanette says after being disgusted with her father's dishonest false claim of a complete withdrawal of any alcoholic beverage. Alcoholism will not only bring down yourself but will also bring your entire family on the rollercoaster of pain and suffering.

"Alcoholics End Shatters Several Lives" is an entry out of the Atlanta Journal about a father who is a commendable parent but had an addiction to alcohol similarly to Rex's problem and is eventually killed in a drunken car chase with a law enforcement officer, leaving his daughter and family heartbroken and forlorn. This entry parallels Rex Walls behavior by showing the outcome and the effects on a family suffering from a father or husband abusing alcohol and becoming a destructive monstrosity. Congruent to the article previously mentioned, Rex Walls demise in the "Glass Castle" is imposed to of been caused by his excessive drinking during his life. " The fact was that, although Dad was only fifty- nine, he had been smoking four packs of cigarettes a day since he was thirteen, and by this time he was also putting away a good two quarts of booze daily. He was, as he had put it many a time, completely pickled."(Walls 278- 279) Considering the circumstances Rex Walls was fortunate that he had lived as long as he did.'

Although alcohol plays a substantial part in physical and mental destruction, it also has caused Rex and a cornucopia of other alcoholics to be dishonest and break promises. The most essential promise was that he would construct a Glass castle for their family to reside in. His family completely doubted that this task would ever be accomplished because he had never amounted to anything he said he would do because of the alcohol. The one person who had faith in him was his dearest daughter, Jeanette. Instead of using his time and money to do something he promised or anything that would be productive, he used his money and time to purchase alcohol and get canned. He could not manage to put enough food on the table for his family and give them the essentials that they deserve. Jeanette put her faith in his withdrawal from drinking and he could not even keep that promise. "When drinking turns serious; Alcohol abuse wreaks havoc on careers, loved ones"(Laur) is an article describing the need for alcohol compared to the preference of it. Laur describes the shaking, sweating, and panicking that an alcoholic may endure when not drinking for a certain amount of time. That strikes me with the part of "The Glass Castle" where Rex tries to quit drinking for the promise he made to Jeanette for her birthday and has to tie himself down to his bed to keep him from going crazy and drinking again. Because of his addiction to alcohol, he once again breaks another promise and started drinking again. The Article states that alcoholism is a disease and I completely agree with that because it can be inherited and cause the effects such as shaking, sweating, and so on. The "Glass Castle" only supports that theory.

Rex's alcoholic ways also prove that one person's blunders can compose a reputation for the entire family. In every town the Wall's family resided in, the problem was not unnoticed. Other children would approach poor Jeanette and remind her of the fact that her father was the town drunk. It seemed as if every town they migrated into everyone would know about her father's drinking habit and Jeanette along with the family would constantly get harassed and teased for it. An online article declares that drunks with negative reputations will most likely affect the people around them in a mental way rather than physical. In addition, it states that physical harm can also be caused because of bullying that a child may receive because of these reputations. This legacy that Rex held, eventually led to Jeanette's bullying by this boy named Ernie and eventually led to a rock being thrown threw her house window. Jeanette was so agitated that she bombarded Ernie and his friends with an abundance of rocks on their skulls. She also had gotten into a scuffle with a group of black girls who would all gang up on her and beat her just because she was poor and



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