The Glass Castle

What do you think about Rex teaching Jeanette how to swim?

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Rex teaches Jeannette how to swim by literally forcing her to sink or swim. He repeatedly throws her into a sulfur spring in the desert, rescuing her when she sinks only to throw her back in again. Using these methods, Rex is able to train Jeannette to paddle and swim in order to avoid being thrown back into the water. This strategy is representative of Rose Mary and Rex's general approach to parenting. Refusing to coddle their children, they often present them with challenges, some life threatening, that the children are forced to handle. Like many of Rex's parantal decisions, I think it is a rather cruel and abusive way to treat a child. A child cannot comprehend what is going on other than the terrifying feeling of drowning.