Perseverance In The Glass Castle

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“She walked for the family and held her head straight for the family,” (Steinbeck 138). The historical fiction novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck depicts the Joad family’s arduous journey to survive and find economic stability as farmers during the Dust Bowl. Jeannette Walls’s autobiography, The Glass Castle, illustrates her family’s struggle to find personal happiness and a sense of belonging despite their lack of a permanent home. Both books feature families attempting to overcome poverty and find a sense of security while traveling nomadically and frequently changing their living situations. Perseverance and solidarity of the family are two qualities which allow the Joad and Walls families to survive the multitude of difficult circumstances …show more content…
Throughout the book, the Walls family lives in great poverty and suffering; the children are often unfed, unable to use proper hygiene, forced to cope with their father’s alcoholism, and largely unsupported financially or emotionally by their parents. Jeannette Walls describes one of her family’s major setbacks, the collapse of their dream to build the Glass Castle because of their inability to pay the bills: “But since we couldn’t afford to pay the town’s trash-collection fee, our garbage was really piling up. One day Dad told us to dump it in the hole. ‘But that’s for the Glass Castle,’ I said. …and as Brian and I watched, the hole for the Glass Castle’s foundation slowly filled with garbage,” (Walls 155). The children’s poverty and lack of parental responsibility causes many conflicts and at times even threatens to take the children’s lives. The Walls family is able to survive the obstacle of poverty through their perseverance and will to improve their lives. When Jeannette and her sister separate themselves from their parents in an effort to make a living in New York, they also face financial problems as they struggle to find stable jobs. Jeannette’s Mom illustrates the family’s resolve to persevere through the unexpected challenges they face in the hopes of one day succeeding: “’Things usually work out in the end.’ ‘What if they don’t?’ ‘That just means you haven’t come to the end yet,’”

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