Child Abuse In Charley's Story

Great Essays
As Charley and Walls’ fathers were both “violent alcoholics,” she clearly displayed the truth behind child abuse in her novel. Not only did Charley’s alcoholic father relate to Walls, but his years as a teenager did as well. Specifically, Charley notes that he ran away from his home at the young age of seventeen (“Charley’s Story”). Walls had a plan to move to New York, which she eventually did, as she writes, “I’ve been speaking hypothetically about moving to New York a year early [...] I could wait until I finished eleventh grade. By then I’d be seventeen” (Walls 236). Walls had dreamt of leaving her house for so years; she saved up money, and her plans were eventually able to come true. Running away is a sure sign of a struggle at home. …show more content…
Child abuse expert, Beth M. Schwartz-Kenney defines physical abuse as “a situation in which a child sustains injury due to the willful acts of an adult” (Schwartz). Children are often beat against their will which can be a traumatic experience that they will never forget. Walls had no choice to obey her father as he told her to bend down, and she writes, “Finally, to call his bluff, I turned around, bent over slightly, and rested my hands on my knees. I expected him to turn and walk away, but there were six stinging blows on the backs of my thighs, each accompanied by a whistle of air. I could feel the welts rising even before I straightened up” (Walls 220). Abuse is unfortunately common among children. There are many reasons for physical abuse like the types Walls faced, however no excuse makes it right. To further illustrate, studies indicate that “Abusive patterns of behaviour by parents can be viewed as maladaptive responses to stressful situations and feelings of powerlessness” (“Child abuse”). Some parents use abuse to let out their stress and anger on their children. This happens to millions of children worldwide, like Walls. Abuse is also often used as a form of punishment, however consequences like these are far too harsh. Specifically, after disrespecting her parents, Walls notes, “Dad whipped us with his belt, but never out of anger, and only if we back-talked or disobeyed a direct order, which was rare” (Walls 59). Physical abuse is an extreme form of child abuse that young individuals face on the daily, as seen by both experts on the subject and Walls in The Glass Castle. Therefore, physical abuse was detailed in an accurate manner by Walls as a result of her unfortunate

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