The Glass Castle Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Jeannette Walls
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Jeannette end up hurting herself in Part 2?

2. Why does the family often pick up and leave in the middle of the night?

3. Why does Jeannette enjoy staying with Grandma Smith?

4. What is Jeannette's manner of telling her story in Part 1?

5. Why does Brian go to investigate the Green Lantern?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Lori and Jeannette help take responsibility for the new baby, Maureen, on the trip to their new home in Part 2?

2. What event happened the day that Rose Mary and Rex met, that Rex says caused him to fall in love with her?

3. How does Rose Mary's philosophy of life make it difficult for her to hold a job?

4. What are Rex's feelings about how the family finances should be handled? How does he manage money?

5. Why do you think Rose Mary continues to refuse help from her adult children?

6. How was Jeannette's childhood atypical?

7. How does Rex teach Jeannette to swim, and how is it representative of his philosophy of parenting in general?

8. Why does the Walls family frequently pack up and move in the middle of the night?

9. The author tells her story in a very straightforward manner. What does her style of writing say about her personality?

10. What does the author feel towards her parents in light of the circumstances of her childhood?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the book, Rex has difficulty holding a job and fully realizing his responsibilities, yet he does love his children and expresses it as best he can. Describe the dysfunctional yet caring relationship between this father and his children. Discuss examples of both times he failed his children, as well as and in which he was able to 'come through' or express his love for them in a meaningful way.

Essay Topic 2

One of the most prominent themes of this book is that of forgiveness. Despite living in such difficult circumstances, and despite being the innocent victims of their parents' selfishness and poor decisions, the Walls children continue to welcome their parents into their lives, particularly as adults. Discuss the theme of forgiveness in "The Glass Castle". Cite examples from the book of how the author is able to forgive others, and herself as well. Consider:

1) How does Jeannette show that she forgives her parents, both as a child and an adult?

2) What is it about Jeannette's personality that allows her to show forgiveness?

3) How does the author's unusual upbringing actually help to develop this quality in her?

Essay Topic 3

Although the Walls parents frequently put their children in dangerous situations, it is obvious that they do not believe that their philosophy of parenting is flawed. Discuss Rex and Rose Mary's philosophy of parenting.

1) How do they believe children should be treated? What do they think of as their responsibility as parents?

2) What do they consider the children's responsibilities within the family?

3) Give examples in which Rex or Rose Mary fail to act in a manner that would be considered responsible by most people. How do they justify their actions within the context of their philosophy of life?

(see the answer keys)

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