Child of God Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topic 1

Child of God is essentially a chronicle of Lester Ballard's descent into unbridled madness, stemming from his need for human contact. Write about the stages of his degeneration and what they say about him as person:

Part 1) Ballard's run-in with the Sleeping Woman on Frog Mountain is his first instance of violence against a woman. What transpires between Ballard and the woman? How does this reflect an essential desire within him?

Part 2) How do Ballard's numerous returns to the idling car with the dead couple illustrate a decision on his part? What does he decide? What has he realized about himself?

Part 3) Examine Ballard's interchange with Ralph's daughter, culminating in his murdering her. How does this episode illustrate his discomfort with human interaction and the breaking down of inhibitions to his violent sexual appetites?

Essay Topic 2

Do you think that Lester Ballard is an essentially evil...

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