Controversial Issues in Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle
Persuasive Essay Topics
Directions: Over the course of this text we have been exploring several themes. These themes lend themselves to discussion and can be subjective. It is your job to choose one of the following topics to explore through your writing. You will be asked to construct a two-page (minimum) persuasive writing piece that incorporates two sources (The Glass Castle & a source of your choice). Please utilize the resources you’ve been shown this year such as easybib, as you will need to include an MLA works cited page. Your paper should be written in MLA format.
1. To what extent are Rose Mary and Rex Walls “unfit parents”? Would Jeannette and her siblings have been better off living in foster care? Was it in the children’s best interest to grow up with their parents or would they have been better off removed from the home?
2. Rose Mary Wells has a unique outlook on life which her daughter outlines throughout the book. We learn, for example, that Mom thinks “people worry too much about their children” and believes that “suffering when you are young is good for you” (28). What kind of person is Mom, based only on what she herself says?
3. Jeannette Wells was asked in an interview whether she owes her success to the hardships she had as a child. What do you think? Did she become the woman she is because of her childhood or in spite of it?
4. Jeannette Walls describes her book as a “memoir” and claims this is her life’s story. What do you think? Is The Glass Castle non-fiction or fiction?
5. Mom’s complaint is that she is an adult, and as such should be able to do whatever she wants. To what extent does adulthood constitute freedom? To what extent is the choice to be homeless the ultimate expression of freedom?
6. Is success, like beauty, “in the eye of the beholder”? Are Rose Mary and Rex Walls successful by their own standards?
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