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Reading has not always been my favorite hobby but this book really intrigued me and gave me further knowledge of the developmental of psychology. In the “Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls we experience examples of social class differences, social influence, cultural influence, and individual influence. Jeanette uses her own life experiences for our understanding and it explains each family member and their lifestyle.
In the book, Jeannette starts with a scene of her on her way to an event, worried about being over-dressed and sees her mother going through a dumpster.
She feels guilty but shamed and gloom as well and realized she was socially privileged and skipped the party to embrace her comfortable home that showed individual influence. Due to this incident, she suddenly starts reminiscing her childhood and how her parents choices affected her.
After seeing her mother, Jeannette called her mother’s friend due to being homeless to leave a message that led to a lunch meeting later that week. Early in conversation, social class is differentiated as soon as Jeanette expresses she is ashamed of her parents and their homeless lifestyle.
Because Jeanette is fortunate, she asks her mother if there is anything she can do to help her. I believe this shows social influence because in Jeanette’s perspective she was being considerate but Jeanette’s mother took offense and responded with “What makes you think I need your help? (Wells 4).
” As well as culture, I believe social is expressed due to differences in classes as Jeanette is middle to upper-class and her mother is poorly under class.
This scene in the book allowed me to connect to our curriculum because t showed connections between all individual influence, cultural influence, social influence, and differences in social class. Jeanette’s mom responded to her daughter’s confession of shame “right there. That’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re way too easily embarrassed. Your father and I are who we are. Accept it (Wells 5). ” Her mom’s response gave me an example of social and cultural influence as well differences in class.
Appearance has always been a social factor and I believe her mom really expressed social influence by explaining to her daughter “If a woman looks good, she eels good (Wells 5). ” Jeanette’s mom understands the different lifestyles her and her daughter have and believes they should accept one another. Jeanette and her mom differ in social ways such as Jeanette noticing the Joy her mother finds in digging in the trash because that is out of Jeanette’s social norm. Jeanette was forced to mature quicker than a typical toddler even by cooking for herself.
While in the process, the fabric of her clothing catches on fire and the burns were terrible enough to send her to the hospital for a few days. Her father comes to he hospital, takes Jeanette out of bed and did the “skedaddle” which according to the book is when you leave without paying the bill. Jeanette was introduced to illegal situations at age three. This one time skedaddle wasn’t the last one and moving to towns for short-term settlement was what Jeanette experienced through her childhood.
The family would move so much it was hard to be accepted into certain societies and cultures which I believe is why Jeanette’s mother is so independent and care-Tree. I ne Tatner Is tne same way wltn an alconol proDlem ana doesn’t Delleve In rganized societies which makes it hard for him to keep a Job and forces his family to relocate often. Jeanette’s mother had inherited a house which led them to move once again. The new house offers stability and comfort with the opportunity to have the children enrolled in school and the father has a steady Job streak until another alcohol problem.
This problem influenced Jeanette to the point she had to ask her father to stop drinking at the age of ten. Jeanette was exposed to improper parenting and possible danger. Also, she was exposed to failure and betrayal from her own ather. As he was sober for a few weeks, the embarrassment of failure due to car troubles led him to drinking again. Jeanette is also introduced to dependency which may not always be a bad thing but when her mother thinks her father’s family will help them but her father is resistant to the idea and decides to move once again in an unstable car.
Jeanette was raised in a poor manor which pushed her to want to succeed. Social influences helped build her sociality now because she didn’t want to live through the miserable life of a leaking roof, no plumbing, or heat. Soon the children go hungry which could have affected the children and made them feel neglected. As Jeanette grows into adolescence and her father’s drinking gets worse, she starts to realize how irresponsible her parents are and their poor choices they have made. After living this life, Jeanette wanted change and she wasn’t the only one.
Jeanette and her sister Lori plan to move to the city of New York after each one of them graduates. These determined sisters didn’t allow some setbacks stop them from reaching their goals. When Jeanette makes it to New York City, she was used to her parent’s Jumping Job to Job or being unemployed that she was shocked at how quickly she found a Job, not to mention her dream Job as a reporter. Jeanette and Lori soon are stable with a roof over their head, food in their mouths, warm water, and heat. As living happy and comfortably, they ask Maureen and Brian to move in with them and they all enjoy their lives together.
Although their parents felt neglected and moved to New York City, the parents had neglected their children their whole hildhood and didn’t fulfill proper parenting. When Jeanette’s parents moved to New York City they were once again, unable to keep Jobs and became homeless at an abandoned building. Maureen turned out to be unstable and ended up stabbing her mother. In comparison to Jeanette, I believe Maureen took anger out on her mother for poor parenting and blamed her for instability whereas Jeanette was stable and sane. The family that never acted much as a family soon drifted after Maureen ended up in a mental institution.
The father lowly starts to dye due to his life-long chain-smoking and alcoholism. When Jeanette’s father died, it was a forced eye opener for her to see the freedom they allowed her to obtain. Jeanette develops in this book a lot by individual and social influences which are opposite to her mother. Jeanette is wealthy, owns a comfortable home, and takes part of the middle to upper class whereas her mother is a trash-diving, homeless, independent individual who finds Joys in simplistic things and speaks her mind rather than material type objects and Judgments such as her daughter.
Her mother developed to accept her circumstances even if it meant being homeless and Jeanette 010 not develop tne same. Jeanette was nurtured Into Tln01ng peace sucn as ner mother after she divorced her husband, moved, and thrives on the reckless freedom that they influenced on her. Jeanette and Maureen really differed in development although coming from the same parents and same developmental techniques, if any. This book displayed developmental psychology and was organized in a true life story manner. Work Cited Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. 2006. New York, NY.