Little Brother Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Cory Doctorow
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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. Why does Marcus want to buy his mother flowers?

2. What does Vanessa say would cause a traffic gridlock?

3. What does Vanessa suggest?

4. What does Benson tell Marcus to do until the police are contacted?

5. What does Marcus use to communicate to his friends?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Marcus and his friends learn from the newspaper?

2. How does Marcus anger the police on the way to his house and what does he do about it?

3. How is Marcus released?

4. What happens as , Marcus and his three friends approach the BART station and what do they decide to do?

5. What suddenly happens as Marcus and his friends are talking with the girl who takes their picture?

6. Who does Marcus believe has taken them and how does he discover the truth?

7. How does Marcus explain his absence to his parents?

8. What happens to anger Marcus' father and why does he apologize to Marcus?

9. Why does Jolu want to get out of the Xnet business?

10. What does the woman with the severe haircut tell Marcus and what is his response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Cory Doctorow.

2. What in Doctorow's background may have helped him in writing "Little Brother"? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Over the course of "Little Brother", Marcus grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. "Little Brother" might be considered a slice of Marcus's larger story of his "coming of age." It might be said that the story is a "bildungsroman" of Marcus Yallow. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Marcus as he changes from a more carefree, innocent boy to a wiser, young man. What are the significant events that change Marcus?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Rick's growth throughout "Little Brother", do you think "Little Brother" could be considered Marcus's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in this story who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

Essay Topic 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "Little Brother" help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading "Little Brother"? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in "Little Brother" to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

(see the answer keys)

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