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The Glass Castle
How do you understand the novel through the theory?
Kerr & Bowen argue that there are many ways from which we can understand leadership as a position present in all rational systems such as a family. In the beginning, the responsibility of leadership in the family was held by parents. Rex and Rose Wall have four children, but their principles and stubborn individuality are the lifestyles of the family. The family was facing many challenges, such as a nomadic way of life, an alcoholic father, and a too-busy mother, and yet she could not stand the responsibility of providing for her family.
These challenges transform the situation and enable the children to be responsible and self-reliant as well as act as family leaders. During tough financial situations, Rex, the father, turned to be a drunkard and later stole the grocery money and ran away for some days. As the situation of the family worsened, Jeannette, her sisters, and brother were responsible for feeding themselves and support one another since they were weathering the betrayals of their parents and, at last, they found the possessions and were on the way to abandon their home (Kerr et al, 1988).
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How do you understand the functioning of this family through this theory?
Rex and Rose are parents whose principles and stubborn originality are their salvation and curse. When they have money, they take the position of family leaders, the responsibility of educating, entertaining, and feeding the family, but when they do not have enough money, Jeannette, her brother, and sisters struggle and get the recourses as well as support one another. They assume the position of the family head.
However, it is so amazing that Jeannette Walls has the tenacity, guts, and intelligence to leave, but she designates her mother and her father with deep generosity and affection. She has a story of achievement contrary to all odds. It is a caring and moving story of unconditional affection in the household. Despite its profound faults, it has granted her the burning determination to shape out a fruitful life on her terms (Kerr et al, 1988).
What are the social or individual issues the family is facing according to the chosen theory?
Rex as the leader of this family cannot give his family a permanent residence. He consumes too much alcohol, which displays him as an escapist when he was unable to cater to his family. He is stubborn and principled, and this does not make him a good family leader. Rex stole the family’s grocery money and vanished for days. This action portrays him as a family leader who cannot be trusted and as an opportunist who abused his position and trust.
Rose Mary as a mother is also a part of the family leadership. She is an artist who makes little money that is not is enough to take the responsibility of taking care of her family. She is too busy to assist her children so that she cannot even get time to cook for her family. Jeannette, her brother, and her sisters could not complete their education courses since their parents had financial challenges and a nomadic way of life. It is also challenging for the children to feed and take care of themselves (Jeannette, 2006).
What are the major crises in the family according to the chosen theory?
This family has crises; therefore, the family head cannot provide his home with a permanent resident. He is a drunkard who cannot feed his family, and his children take the responsibility of feeding and taking care of themselves. Rose is too busy for her family, yet she cannot provide for them. The father who was supposed to protect the family stole the grocery money and vanished for some time (Jeannette, 2006).
What are the strengths and weaknesses of using this theory to analyze the family?
The strength of the theory to analyze this family is that it reflects the real picture and character traits of Rex and Rose as the leaders of the family. It also enables us to realize how Jeannette, her brother, and her sisters take responsibility as family leaders when their parents fail. The weakness is that it displays parents as not caring contrary to the story, where despite failing in their duties, Jeannette considers it a caring, moving story of unconditional affection in a household that despite its profound faults granted her the burning determination to shape out a fruitful life on her terms (Kerr et al, 1988).
Give 2 examples of how the theory’s theoretical concepts are embodied in the family and explain why each example is a good representation of this theory
Rex and Rose Walls are the family leaders who take responsibility for their children, give basic needs such as education, shelter, and protection. The presence of these made the children feel secure even though they were stubborn and principled. Later, the presence of the parents as the family leaders affects the children, when Rose, their mother, is too busy for them that she cannot even cook for them and their father steals the grocery money and runs away for some days. This shows how the family leader’s position is occupied and how the leader’s positions affect the other family members (Jeannette, 2006).
When the parents cannot meet their assumed duties Jeannette, her brother, and sisters assume the position and take responsibility for struggling and feeding and taking care of themselves. This displays how this position of family leadership is filled and transferred from the father to the children and the effects of being ineffective in this leadership position.
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