Shaking the Nickel Bush Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ralph Moody
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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 Lonnie drive the car off the side of the road a few miles outside Phoenix?

2. What city is Ralph in at the beginning of Chapter 5?

3. What advice does Mr. Larsen give to Lonnie?

4. How much does the mechanic charge Ralph and Lonnie for using his tools?

5. In Phoenix, Ralph befriends a couple who owns a ___________________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are the Larsens and what role do they play in Ralph's life?

2. Who is Ralph's family doctor and what does the doctor encourage Ralph to do to help his condition?

3. Why does Ralph allow Lonnie to search for a car, and what is Ralph's opinion of the car Lonnie finds?

4. What are Ralph's plans for employment when he reaches Arizona and why does he have a hard time finding a job?

5. What advice does the train conductor give Ralph about jumping trains?

6. Why does Ralph's mother send him to a doctor and what is the diagnosis?

7. Why was Ralph not able to serve in the military during World War I?

8. What are Ralph's two main concerns when he is unable to secure a job after a week?

9. Why does Ralph question whether or not the car was a wise purchase?

10. What does Ralph teach himself to do at the movie set?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the typical prognosis for someone like Ralph who is diagnosed with diabetes in the early 1900s. Why was Ralph's trip important in many ways? What was Ralph's state of mind in trying to change the course of his life despite the prognosis?

Essay Topic 2

The author uses more than one instance of irony in the book. Cite at least two other examples you can identify in the novel and note why they are examples of irony.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Ralph and Lonnie. Both young men are trying to carve out new lives but seem to have different methods and goals. How are Ralph and Lonnie alike? How are they different? On what things do they agree? What is the thing that threatens to separate them? What other similarities and dissimilarities are there between the two characters?

(see the answer keys)

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