If There Be Thorns Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Bart.

Bart is Jory's willful and fanciful nine-year-old half brother. Bart is clumsy, and he resents his brother's gracefulness. Bart cannot feel pain because his nerve endings don't extend to the surface of his skin.

2. Describe what Chris and Jory see when they find Cathy in the attic in the first chapter.

Cathy is dressed in her white ballet pointes and leotards and is dancing with a dustmop to the music from The Sleeping Beauty. She doesn't respond immediately to Chris. She has set up two twin beds with a picnic hamper between them. Pictures of flowers are hanging on the walls, and the attic is tidy.

3. What has Jory been told of his mother's past?

Jory believes that his mother's parents died in a car accident. She and her younger sister had taken a bus south, where they given a place to stay with Dr. Paul Sheffield. There she started ballet lessons and met Jory's father, Julian Marquet. Jory was born soon after Julian died. His mother then married Paul Sheffield, and gave birth to Bart. Chris is his mother's third husband.

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