Rex Shows Abuse Throughout the Book
Abuse is sometimes hard to recognize and when it recognized it is hard to escape. In the book, The Glass Castle, it shows many situations where abuse plays a huge role. Since Rex doesn’t have a stable life, he chooses to abuse and make everyone else’s life unstable as well. Abuse includes mental, physical, and emotional attacks that can range from light to harmful. It is important to know the patterns of abusive relations, the definition of an abusive relationship, and know that this certain behavior is unacceptable to avoid being in one of these situations yourself.
Rex Walls, the Father in The Glass Castle is mentally abusive to his children and wife. Walls always promised to the children that they will eventually have the glass castle built, but he continues to let his family down and shows that they will never get to have the dream come true glass castle.
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One thing Rex always did was ask the children if he has ever let them down, “I’d heard this question at least two hundred times, and I had always answered it the way I knew he wanted me to. I was about to tell him the truth for the first time, about to let him know that he’d let us down plenty, but then I stopped. I couldn’t do it, (210). “ Physical abuse played a big role in the Walls family “normal” lifestyle. According to (Source) Physical abuse includes obvious attacks such as rape and threats with a weapon; hitting and punching, slapping, pushing, shoving, kicking, choking, and throwing objects at you, which is the type of relationship Rex and Rose Mary had. One day, the kids were outside playing and Jeannette explained what they saw as they looked up at the yelling they heard “Moms feet appeared in the window, followed by the rest of her body. She was dangling from the second floor, her legs swinging widely. Dad was holding her by the arms while she tried hitting him in the face.” (71) The kids said that parents get into fights constantly but this one was different. Another sign of is exposing your significant other to reckless driving. The first situation of driving recklessly happens in the first few pages of The Glass Castle. “It was in the middle of the night, and Mom bolted out of the car and ran into the darkness. ‘You crazy bitch!’ Dad hollered. ‘Get your Goddamn ass back in this car!’ Dad jerked the steering wheel to one side and drove off the road into the desert after her. (43)”
However, abusive relations don’t necessarily have to be physical but can also be emotional. Emotional abuse can sometimes be just as or even more damaging than physical abuse. Emotional abuse can be challenging to identify the signs. Abuse signs include controlling where your partner goes and who they see, belittling your partner, ignoring feelings, insulted beliefs religion and race, drink heavily and continuously criticizing them (source). Rex Walls shows signs of emotional abuse when he steals the money from the kids right from the piggy bank that holds the money the kids came together and put towards the escape found. The kids were very fed up with their father always telling them something and never following through with it. Meanwhile, past literature has shown that some abusers abuse because of the situation; they become unemployed, certain stress, acting out, and frustration. (Source)
Rex Walls has never had steady employment throughout the book. He never blamed himself he always blamed his place of employment. “Dad said that there was nothing to worry about, because Phoenix was so big and growing so fast that he could find another job at a site where they hadn’t spread lies about him. Then he got fired from his second job and then his third, and was kicked out of the electricians’ union and started doing odd jobs and day work” (110). The common question that comes up throughout the book was why doesn’t Rose Mary get away. A lot of people don’t understand how hard it actually is to get out of an abusive relationship or even talk about it to someone. It’s hard to get out of an abusive relationship because their partners cling to them and hope it’s going to get better as time goes on. Most women felt the abusive men had good qualities 54% saw their partners as highly dependable, either financially or emotionally, 21% felt that men were patient, affectionate, and calm. (Source) Rose Mary had to depend on Rex because she never had a job and her art skills never got her anywhere.
As stated before Rex never had a steady job so finally when Rose Mary got a job he was in control of the finances and what the money was spent on. “While Dad liked it that Mom was bringing home a paycheck, he saw himself as the head of the household, and he maintained that the money should be turned over to him. It was his responsibility, he’d say, to handle the family finances. For some reason, she didn’t have it in her to say no to him. If she tried, he’d argue and wheedle and sulk and bully and plain wear her down. It got to the point where Dad was showing up to school on payday” (76). Most women blame themselves, make excuses, overlook, and hope for change as time goes on. Also, Rose Mary might not know she is in an abusive relationship because she has been in one for so long she might think that her relationship is like everyone else’s and that’s how it’s supposed to be. She also may not have the inner strength to talk to someone about her relationship with Rex Walls. Knowing what an abusive relationship is a good place to start. Ask yourself if you are being isolated from others or is your partner jealous for no reason? Are they taking control of the finances when you are able to do it yourself? Most people don’t know what’s going on until it’s too late and they can’t get out, unfortunately. An abusive relationship can cause permanent damage to someone.
Rose Mary shows signs of depression and anxiety throughout the book. Even though it didn’t come right out and say she has a mental disorder we can gather clues and predict she has depression and anxiety. With Rex being so abusive it affects her and her children’s well being and the life they live. Deputy police and crime commissioner Mathew Barber said, “controlling and emotional abusive relationships have an extremely damaging impact on the victims health and well being” (source). Most victims are unable to live their life to its fullest potential because of being scared of abuse, eventually, it will get to the point it will destroy their self-confidence.
In conclusion abuse is a hard thing to recognize and over time it can destroy you as a person. Unfortunately abusive relationships are responsible for thousands of deaths a year. Rex Walls the father in the book The Glass Castle was not only an abusive husband but also an abusive father to his children. It is also important to know what an abusive relationship is and how to deal with it if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation.