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The Glass Castle Application Paper

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Kelsey Lorraine Smith

Family Ecological Theory

The Glass Castle Application Paper 2

         Individuals living together in an intimate setting with the purpose of caring and supporting each other is known as a family. Being a part of a family is a very meaningful part of everyday life for most people. Families help in improving our personalities, and also help in shaping our lives. Families teach us how to love, show affection, care, provide assurance, and many more positive traits. These ideas we are taught are essential in living a healthy and successful life. A family is a safe place where you are accepted for who, and what you are in most case scenarios. Family encourages you when you are surrounded and problems and also help you survive through tough times and bring joy and happiness into your life. However, not all families are the same. Not all families interactions are circular and reciprocal. A topic I am going to focus on in this paper is interdependence in family relationships. Interdependence is one of the main concepts of systems theory.

        I believe the main goal of most parents is to raise their children the best they possibly can. Parents strive construct their children into strong individuals whom can face the problems life throws at them. With that being said, parents are role models. Children look up to parents and often times follow in their footsteps. Parents need to exemplify, and create good examples for their offspring. However, according to many of the themes of family in The Glass Castle, you don’t have to be a perfect parent to raise children properly.

        From what I gather, interdependence on one had is a simple concept. It has to do with how people in a family influence each other. But on the other hand, I believe that it’s very complex in terms of having several layers to it and it is often very hard to observe. Yet, interdependence is a huge part of life and it is very important to note that it is not always good, nor is it always bad. Interdependence in the family explains how one individual functions in relation to another. The Walls are not like most families. As addressed in my introduction, I gave a good interpretation on what I believe a family should look like. None the less, my idea of what a family is, is not universal.

The Walls are constantly on the move. It’s almost as if they are a part of a circus. The children aren’t properly cared for, and the parents have many of their own issues. The issues the parents have, are put up high on the pedestal and the children are neglected because of this. Jeanette, Lori, Brian and Maureen all lack proper care and suffer because of that. A good example of how relationships within a family system depend on each other lies on pages 110-115 in The Glass Castle. The children’s father lost his job once again. Financial stability is crucial children’s and families development. Job loss in a family affects every single member. Each person in the Walls family will hurt because of this income cut. The children reached the point of rummaging through dumpsters in a parking lot due to not finding any food in the family refrigerator. Luckily, during the school day Jeanette’s teacher was nice enough to buy her lunch at school and Maureen has a few friends whose families fed her too. Meanwhile, the father exhibits very vicious actions at home. He is constantly intoxicated and smashes things right and left. Because of this behavior, the children felt depended on to clean up after him. Another incident that happened between the sequence of pages 110-115 was at a church. Prior to church, their father took back a Budweiser and ended up intoxicated before mass. During the sermon, he belted out remarks to the congregation that ended up getting the entire family kicked out onto the street.



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