The Major Achievement for the Characters in “The Color Purple” and “The Glass Castle”

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A major achievement must be reached in order for the triumph and success in a person’s action. Characters in The Colour Purple and The Glass Castle triumph over family dysfunction by maintaining strong ties to their siblings, and holding strong to their beliefs.

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A dysfunctional family affects children due to the lack of parental guidance for instance, Jeannette’s parents, “who seemed more intent on their next adventure than on providing basic necessities for their children.” (Gale Cengage Learning) Firstly, the stereotypical household provider is usually the father. In The Glass Castle, Rex Walls is the father of the household but is not the household provider for the reason that, he is drunk and jobless throughout the majority of the novel. Jeannette articulates that her, “Dad was perfect, although he did have what Mom called a bit of a drinking situation”. (Walls 23) Rex’ alcoholic ways resulted in the abuse towards the four children’s mother, Rose Mary. The four children lived with his their fathers’ outrages exclaiming that they “had to get used to stepping over broken furniture and shattered glass.” (Walls 113) Despite Rex’ unquestionable lack of parental guidance for his family, his kids also suffered physically. Jeannette and Brian come forth as the most starved due to the lack of income.

For instance, Jeannette and Brian regularly returned empty bottles found on the road in return for money so that they could eat to survive. Along with their dysfunctional father and lack of food, the four children also had no place to call home and “were always doing the skedaddle, usually in the middle of the night.” (Walls 19) Any family beside their immediate caused problematic situations such as Jeannette’s Uncle Stanley attempting to touch her inappropriately, which removes her opportunity to bathe. Also, her grandmother, Erma’s attempt to touch Brian inappropriately resulted in the move of their family. Likewise, In The Color Purple Celie also has family complications that cause problems, specifically with her father Alphonso who rapes and beats her. Alphonso impregnates Celie twice and abducts the two children to better himself. Celie blames Pa for her mother’s death claiming that she “felt sorry for mama. Trying to believe his story kilt her.”(Walker 5) With no parental guidance similar to the Walls family, Nettie and Celie were forced to raise themselves. Also, Celie’s father forces her into a joyless marriage with Mr. Johnson, which ultimately results in the separation between her and her sister. Mr. Johnson and his children demonstrate the disrespectful treatment towards Celie particularly, Mr. Johnson beating her. Additionally, nearing the end of the novel, Nettie’s letter expresses to Celie that, “Pa is not our Pa” (Walker 182). Furthermore, family dysfunction is significant between the two novels for the reason that it indicates an unbelievable struggle that two independent females overcome.

Maintaining strong ties to your siblings strengthens the relationship and provides the siblings with an inseparable bond. First of all, In The Glass Castle, family is important but also problematic for the reason that, the children are forced to take care of themselves and their siblings. For example, Brian and Jeannette team up together to ward of bullies, which shows the strong bond they have. Jeannette also states that she felt as if she, “was failing Maureen” and “wasn’t keeping [her] promise that she would) protect her.” (Walls 206) This promise is significant in showing the strong motherly like bond that Jeannette has for her younger sibling. Rose Mary’s vacancy results in leaving Jeannette in charge with the funds to feed and cook for the other children. The children had to therefore rely on Jeannette as a motherly figure initiating a strong bond.

Additionally, the children raise themselves particularly by having to find food to surviveor cooking for themselves. For example, Jeannette burns herself at the age of three at the attempt to boil hot dogs to feed herself. Also, Jeannette and her siblings had to work together constantly to triumph such as, warding off bullies as stated previously and saving money for the, “beginning of [their] escape fund.” (Walls 221) In The Color Purple, Nettie and Celie also take care of one another similar to the Walls children. Likewise, Celie promises her younger sister to protect her as well as Jeannette did with Maureen. This is noteworthy for the fact that the two older sisters in each novel symbolize their love and strong ties to their younger sisters at an early stage within the novels. At an early stage in the novel Nettie teaches Celie valuable lessons such as, reading skills and other studies. These lessons ultimately turn out to be a way of communicating with each other. Another thing, the separation between the two sisters tears Celie apart for the reason that they raised each other causing her to feel as if she lost her baby. Following the separation, they maintain strong ties by writing letters to each other. Overall, maintaining strong ties to siblings help Jeannette and Celie connect to family other than their parents and triumph over family dysunction mainly, the absence of parental guidance and difficult childhood.

Lastly, the power of holding onto ones beliefs benefits the main characters and gives them hope for success. In The Glass Castle, Jeannette believes that her dad is a great man with many talents. At the beginning of the novel, Rex Walls’ “Engineering skills and mathematical genius [are) coming together in one special project”(Walls 25), “The Glass Castle”. Rex Walls future prospects of finding gold to build the glass castle leads Jeannette into believing that he will. Jeannette believes not only in the glass castle but her fathers success in building it as well. However, throughout the novel Rex loses so many jobs that Jeannette begins to lose hope especially, when she and her brother watch, “the hole for the Glass Castle’s foundation slowly [fill] with garbage” (Walls 155). Jeannette has an insight when referring to the book, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” stating, “If Francie saw the good in her father, even though most people considered him a shiftless drunk, maybe I wasn’t a complete fool for believing in mine.” (Walker 169) This insight displays her deteriorating hope in her father as she questions her belief. Moreover, Rose Walls believes that people worry too much about children which shows in her parenting techniques. For example, Rose believes that it will harden the children if they live more independently.

As previously indicated the children share a strong bond with each other and pool money together to go to New York, with that being stated, Jeannette and Lori strongly believe in each other. As Lori leaves for New York Jeannette believes in herself to further succeed in getting herself there and reuniting with Lori. Having hope and believing in herself progresses Jeannette to triumph over her past life and reach a successful standpoint. Additionally, In the beginning of The Color Purple, Celie believes in God and addresses him in her journal. However, nearing the end of the novel Celie stops writing to god, feeling as if she has nothing in common with the “old white man”(Walker 179).

Nevertheless, Shug convinces Celie to not punish god for his injustice and Nettie writes Celie expressing that “unbelief is a terrible thing.” (Walker 169) “Celie’s letters to both God and her sister help her find out more about herself and about life in a variety of ways.” (Gale Cengage Learning) Shug Avery also helps Celie to find out more about herself and believe in her worth, such as leaving Albert and running a small business where she designs pants. A main point in the novel that symbolizes holding on to strong beliefs would be Celies faith in reuniting with Nettie. Despite rumours about Nettie being dead Celie still believes that she is alive and continues to write to her in hopes of an answerback. All in all, the power of believing helped the two main characters to triumph over the difficulties of family dysfunction by, believing in that of a higher power, believing in themselves and their siblings.

In conclusion, characters in The Color Purple and The Glass Castle triumph over family dysfunction by maintaining strong ties to their siblings, and holding strong to theirbeliefs.

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The Major Achievement for the Characters in "The Color Purple" and "The Glass Castle". (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from
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