How Did Jeanette Walls Become Successful?

1075 words - 5 pages

Jeanette Walls is a remarkable woman who overcame the chains of poverty to become the successful journalist/ author she is today. Her story is filled with heartache and triumphs alike stemming from her loving but very dysfunctional parents, Rex Walls and Rose Mary. She is inspirational because she proves no matter how bad of a situation you are in, if you believe in your self and are willing to work hard, your circumstances will not define you. My purpose in this paper is to discuss her resilience and self-governance that was ultimately the recipe for her success. Her siblings also play a large part in her story line and I believe she would not be where she is today if she didn’t fight alongside her older sister and younger brother.
Jeanette’s parents were very free spirited and carefree about many things, least of all their children. Her mother’s ambitions were mainly to become a famous artist and her father’s mainly included drinking as much alcohol as he could get his hands on, and in the meantime becoming a successful entrepreneur. Her father was not exactly very concerned with feeding his family properly, and he often took all the money her mother would make teaching. “I’ve got a houseful of kids and a husband who soaks up booze like a sponge… making ends meet is harder than you think (Walls 197). They often went hungry and because of her parents being so neglectful she, along with her siblings, became their own parents. Her self-governance was astounding at such a young age and this was a key to her success later on in life. She had always been very aware of her surrounding and growing up her family was always on the move, always on the run. They eventually settled in Welch, West Virginia and this is where her independence really begins to reveal itself. She was desperate to leave it all behind, “People got stuck in Welch. I had been counting on Mom and Dad to get us out, but now I knew I had to do it on my own.” Her sister Lori was especially a point of hope for her, “I knew that if Lori never got out of Welch, neither would I” (Walls 129).
Walls felt so sure and confident in herself that she was ready to be done with her life in Welch before she even finished high school! She planned it with her sister and even her brother pitched in for years about their big escape. They all save their money piece by piece and of course their father ends up stealing their money. “You Bastard! Lori shouted. You stole our money”(Walls 228). This caused a big problem in their household, to which her father responded with his usual argument about how he was a superhero that always saved the day. ‘’[…all] he wants in return for his toil and sacrifice is a little love and respect but it seemed these days that was just too damn much to ask for’’(Walls 229). The children for many years have been acting as parents, parenting themselves, and to have their father steal their money goes...

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