Skeleton Man Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 does Sherman tell Chandler?

2. How does Billy become mentally challenged?

3. About what do the three men educate Joanna?

4. Of what does Chee dream?

5. With whom does Joanna partner to go after Plymale?

Short Essay Questions

1. What about the difference between white and Native American culture does Hillerman seem to be again emphasizing. Why do you as a reader respond to this obvious stereotyping?

2. At this point in the story, do you believe it when Joanna says that she seeks only her father's arm to end his pain in the afterlife and is not interested in the diamonds?

3. How are Chandler and Plymale archetypes of the type of white man that imposed their way upon Native Americans?

4. What does the telephone conversation between Bernie and Chee say about their relationship?

5. What seems to be a likely foreshadowing of a coming event?

6. Why do you think Hillerman introduces a character, Louisa Berbonette, in Chapter 5, who plays no part in the rest of the story?

7. What story does Shorty tell that is the motivation for the setting moving to the floor of the Grand Canyon?

8. How do the two characters introduced in Chapter 3 contrast with each other?

9. What besides Billy's brain injury could be a reason for his inability to give a date of his Kiva ritual?

10. The fact that Sherman survives the shooting by Joanna could have several implications; name one of them.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 4, Chandler is meeting with Plymale at a private beach in the Caribbean. Chandler enjoys and envies the luxury in which he is basking, thinking it should be his by birthright. Answer the following questions by writing a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. What is envy? Do most humans experience envy at some point in their lives? What is a healthy way of dealing with envy?

2. How does Chandler deal with his envy? Do you agree with him that he should have all his material wants fulfilled because of having been born in a wealthy family? Should anyone born into a wealthy family be supplied with everything s/he wants? Why or why not?

3. Is it accurate to say that envy is one of the things that ultimately kills Chandler? Why or why not? Can something such as envy lead to one's death or unhappiness? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 9, Chee is reflecting on his past, particularly upon his past romantic relationships. A story he things about concerns "Cat," a domesticated cat. The story about Cat might be considered an allegory. Answer the following questions by writing a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. What is an allegory? What is the purpose of the Cat allegory?

2. Why do you think an author might use an allegory to express a concept or idea? Do you think the Cat allegory is effective?

3. Are there any other allegories in the novel? What about the story Sam Pinto tells in Chapter 1? Could this be an allegory about how the white man has ruined the environment?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 2, Joe reflects on his boredom since retirement, upon the idea of mortality, and at having lost some many friends to that mortality. Choose one of the following and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. What do you think are the causes of Joe's boredom? Do you think he is so one-sided that he cannot find other things that interest him besides police work? Do you think that is psychologically healthy? Do you know of anyone who after retiring seems to mope around and is bored? Explain their situation. What would you say to them? Would you say the same to Joe?

2. The old Shaman man seems to never have retired from his "job" as Shaman--not until he dies. The Shaman is what is job is--in other words, if you ask him who he is, he might reply "I am the Shaman for the tribe." If you ask him what he does, he would probably say the same thing. Western culture tends to separate who one is with what one does; whereas, aboriginal cultures blur the boundaries more. Compare and contrast the two ways of identification. State possible advantages and disadvantages of both ways.

3. It is an oft-recorded phenomenon that some men (and occasionally women) will retire and then die fairly soon thereafter, even if they are healthy when they retire. Discuss this idea fully giving your thoughts about it as well as researching the idea and presenting what experts say.

(see the answer keys)

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