Describe the character traits of Rex and Rose Mary Walls

Please select one of the questions below and respond in a one page. (at least 3 paragraphs)


  • Include a thesis statement
  • Use quotes from the text
  • Follow MLA guidelines
  • Follow structure of an essay

#       Question #1: What other objects or images recur throughout the text (such as fire, the geode rock that Jeannette takes with her when the family moves, Rex’s reference to Jeannette as “Mountain Goat,” Rose Mary’s jewelry collection, etc.)?  What do they represent?  What is the significance of the natural imagery throughout, particularly the stars?

#           Question #2: Describe the character traits of Rex and Rose Mary Walls. Are they static, unchanging characters, or would you argue that they are “round” characters who exhibit change and growth?

#          Question #3: Describe the relationship between Jeannette and her siblings, and the role they play in one another’s lives. What do we learn about her via these relationships?

#          Question #4: Critics have described Walls’ style and prose as “unadorned,” “spare,” “bare bones,” and “unsentimental.”  How is this simple, direct style fitting for the memoir?  How would you describe Walls’ tone throughout and its significance to her storytelling?

#           Question #5: Examine the memoir’s ending. Why do you think Walls chose to end the book with the Thanksgiving gathering?


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