How did it change from when they were in the the desert, to when they were in Welch, and how they ended in New York.
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Her relationship with her father,Rex Walls, changed by that she was trusting with her dad in the beggining of the story. But when in Welch, Jeanette Walls starts losing faith in her father because of his alcoholism is affecting the family emotionly and financially, because he sometimes spends money on booze.
As innocent as a childs love for the parent it slowly goes away with her getting older. When Jeannette was young she looked up to her dad with childs eyes never understanding what really made Rex motivated. sure he drank when the kids were young but he played with them and she gives you the feeling in the story that she looked at her dad as a role model some one to sort of look up to. Remember in the beginning the 'ol Walls skedaddle was fun. as she got older the uglier side of alcoholism shows it's face. Using her, the stealing. Personally the nail in the coffin i think was when she was propositioned by drunk in the bar to go up to the apartment,she looked over to her father for help and he laughed it off. but the physical abuse started and there was no more love, respect because it was her father but no more love. As for New York Jeannette felt tons of emotion, guilt and a feeling of duty or responsibility to help them. But something finally clicked in her a feeling of sometimes you can drag a horse to a watering hole fighting and kicking he still isn't gonna drink if he doesn't want to. Rex and Mary were in a way happy on the streets and she wasn't going to change there mind.