Skinny Legs and All 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. According to the narrator, religion inevitably leads to what?

2. What request does Ellen Cherry make of Spike and Abu?

3. What things make Buddy doubt God?

4. Who does Buddy need to get on the phone after he has his vision?

5. What new piece of art does Boomer create?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do we learn about Boomer Petway in the first few sections of the novel?

2. Verlin, Patsy, and Buddy go to see a "miracle", which turns out to be nothing more than a shadow on a freezer. What does an incident like this seem to say about people's relationship to religion and mystery? Does it cast a reflection on Buddy's miracle?

3. What are the the origins of Spike Cohen's foot fetish?

4. At the end of this section, Buddy avoids getting a speeding ticket by using his saxophone voice and preaching to the police officer. Is this realistic and why do you think Robbins includes it in the story?

5. Why do you think that Ellen Cherry covers a nude portrait of Boomer with tongues?

6. Describe the sculpture that Boomer is bringing to Jerusalem to reassemble.

7. When Ellen Cherry reflects on Boomer's fear that she loves art more than him, she admits that it's true, but adds that she loves art more than herself too. What does this tell us about Ellen Cherry and about her opinion of art?

8. What is the relationship between the first veil that is revealed and the actions of the novel so far?

9. What do you think is significant about the fact that Boomer and Ellen Cherry wake up Painted Stick and Conch Shell?

10. What do we learn about Patsy, Ellen Cherry's mother in the section called "The First Veil"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the significance of Isaac and Ishmael's. Describe the symbolism of the restaurant as well as it's political implications. The narrator talks a lot about this in the fourth veil, when the restaurant is introduced. Include this information, but don't limit your discussion to it. You may also want to consider the significance of Spike and Abu's backgrounds and characters.

Essay Topic 2

Several ideas about art and the role of the artist are explored throughout the novel. Choose three characters and compare their ideas of art and the artist. In order to accomplish this, you have to define or characterize each character's theory or art. You may choose any character that you can develop a coherent theory of art for, but some of the more obvious choices are Ellen Cherry, Boomer, Ultima, and Buddy.

Essay Topic 3

The question is raised early on by Ellen Cherry whether a person can really be passionate about two things at once. Can she, for example, be both an artist and a wife? Where do you think Robbins (or Ellen Cherry) ultimately falls on this question? State your position and use at least three supporting examples to argue it.

(see the answer keys)

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