Presentation Title

Hero to Zero

Faculty Mentor

Edgar Muniz

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:15 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:30 PM

Location

Markstein 107

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Jeannette Walls’s memoir, The Glass Castle, tells a story about her childhood and growing up in poverty with passionate, but tormenting parents who were essentially doing their best. Wall's father, Rex, is at the heart of the story and he is a father who teeters between providing for his family while trying to fulfill his own American Dream. From the perspective of Alfred Adler, the underrated but great psychoanalyst who theorized about power struggles and inferiority complexes, it is interesting to consider whether Rex is the one to blame for the chaotic upbringing of Jeannette Walls and her siblings. Rex was a heroic figure for Jeannette while she was a little girl, and used illusions to hide the reality of their impoverished living situation as they go from California to New York. Jeannette begins to lose faith in Rex as he continues failing to meet the standards of an independently responsible father in which portrays him as a false hero. Days without being home and false promises are the beginning of Jeannette and her sibling's faith being loss. As the story continues and the children become older, they begin to acknowledge how irresponsible and destructive their father behaves, and how he is progressing worse and worse. Although Rex seems to be the one to blame for his own recklessness, to consider an Adlerian perspective, Rex can be understood in a much more profound way by looking into his past and his abusive alcoholic mother who was also mistreated as a child. This connects strongly as to why Rex is a destructive alcoholic father full of disappointment, which makes his children believe that he is not a hero but a human being who did his best.

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Nov 23rd, 1:15 PM Nov 23rd, 1:30 PM

Hero to Zero

Markstein 107

Jeannette Walls’s memoir, The Glass Castle, tells a story about her childhood and growing up in poverty with passionate, but tormenting parents who were essentially doing their best. Wall's father, Rex, is at the heart of the story and he is a father who teeters between providing for his family while trying to fulfill his own American Dream. From the perspective of Alfred Adler, the underrated but great psychoanalyst who theorized about power struggles and inferiority complexes, it is interesting to consider whether Rex is the one to blame for the chaotic upbringing of Jeannette Walls and her siblings. Rex was a heroic figure for Jeannette while she was a little girl, and used illusions to hide the reality of their impoverished living situation as they go from California to New York. Jeannette begins to lose faith in Rex as he continues failing to meet the standards of an independently responsible father in which portrays him as a false hero. Days without being home and false promises are the beginning of Jeannette and her sibling's faith being loss. As the story continues and the children become older, they begin to acknowledge how irresponsible and destructive their father behaves, and how he is progressing worse and worse. Although Rex seems to be the one to blame for his own recklessness, to consider an Adlerian perspective, Rex can be understood in a much more profound way by looking into his past and his abusive alcoholic mother who was also mistreated as a child. This connects strongly as to why Rex is a destructive alcoholic father full of disappointment, which makes his children believe that he is not a hero but a human being who did his best.