Never Fall Down Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Patricia McCormick
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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. What event causes Arn to sneak out and plead with the new music teacher to start exerting effort in his teaching?

2. Why do Arn's sister and aunt break down crying when Arn gives them a treat?

3. After asking Sombo many times why he is permissive with Arn and overlooks his breaking of the rules, Sombo reveals the reason. What does he say is the reason?

4. What event precipitates the band members being fed real rice and being forced to practice their music all night long?

5. Who tells Arn's aunt about Arn and Munny seeing the American movie?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the theme of generosity demonstrated in the scene when the children are finally fed rice in anticipation of their first performance for the Khmer Rouge soldiers?

2. What do Arn and his little brother Munny do after they sneak in to see the American movie and what happens to make them hide?

3. How does the author use the juxtaposition between the kitchen girl's molestation of Arn and the comfort he then seeks within Mek's embrace? What is her purpose in using this juxtaposition?

4. Before the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in his village, how does Arn feel about the war he knows is being fought outside his town and what does he spend most of his time doing?

5. What is the significance of the escape from camp by the boy from Arn's village?

6. When Arn's curiosity gets the better of him and he finally asks Sombo the reason for his permissiveness concerning Arn's behavior, what reasoning does Sombo provide and what is the author's purpose in portraying Sombo's character in this particular way?

7. Why do the Khmer Rouge burn everyone's clothes and all of their material belongings?

8. Who is the emaciated girl with the missing teeth and loose skin who arrives at Arn's camp and what does he learn from her?

9. What ploy do the Khmer Rouge use to get the government soldiers to come to the airport and what happens once they arrive?

10. What happens to the pregnant woman and her husband who are walking next to Arn within the mass exodus of all cities? What lesson does Arn learn from seeing what happens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Desensitization is a coping mechanism Arn uses often in order to retain his sanity in the midst of the horrors all around him. Describe and analyze three of these instances and use them to explain how the author uses them to help the reader keep rooting for Arn even though at times he commits atrocities that in normal circumstances would seem unforgivable.

Essay Topic 2

Within the novel, the manipulation of language in order to shift people's perspectives is a common theme, both in Arn's case, as when he questions the difference between a "bribe" and a "gift" (8) and in the case of the Khmer Rouge soldiers, as when they ban the use of the word "sleep," instead ordering that only the word "rest" (82) be used. Discuss the theme of language manipulation throughout the novel and relate it to manipulation of language within modern politics.

Essay Topic 3

The epilogue of the novel provides the reader with information about the real man on whom the novel's fictional story is based. Discuss the author's choice to include this epilogue and its intended effect on the reader within the context of the whole novel.

(see the answer keys)

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