Maureen Walls

Jeannette's youngest sister. Maureen is beautiful but never learns how to care for herself; she relies on her friends' parents for food, shelter, and support. She is the most fragile of the children and spends all her life looking for someone to take care of her. She worked from time to time as a bartender or waitress, but the jobs never lasted long. Maureen even stopped reading and slept all day, leaving the apartment only to buy cigarettes.

One day, Maureen struck her mother with a knife. This happened after Mom decided that her daughter should be independent and find her own place to live. God helps only those who do not forget about themselves, so Maureen must move out of their apartment and find her place in life. Maureen could not stand the thought that her own mother expelled her, and stabbed her with a knife. Mom claimed that Maureen did not try to kill her - she was just very upset, but the injuries inflicted on her mother had to be stitched, and the police arrested Maureen.

Maureen’s character is not as well developed as that of the other siblings. Seven years younger than Jeannette, she is a baby for much of Jeannette’s childhood and misses out on the adventures and disasters that the rest of the family has lived together.

She's apart from the family during her childhood and prefers to hang around with her friends. When she's older, she ends up stabbing her mother, and later leaves for California.

However, Maureen turns out to be the only Walls sibling with serious mental and emotional difficulties. She spends time at a psychiatric hospital before moving to California.

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Maureen Walls in the Essays