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. Who has a voice like a saxophone?

2. Why does Ellen Cherry Charles leave art school?

3. How is Colonial Pines described?

4. What is the first college Roland Abu Hadee attends?

5. What event keeps being repeated at the I & I?

Short Essay Questions

1. The Third Veil turns out to be the veil of political illusion. Robbins says that politics is "the compulsion to preside over property and make other people's decisions for them." He says that liberty can't be a result of political action. In what ways does this seem true and in what ways not true?

2. What does Ellen Cherry mean when she says that "'political art' is a contradiction in terms"?

3. One of Abu Hadee's favorite quotes is "A shadow does not belong to the object that casts it." What do you think of the significance of this? How does it relate to the rest of the novel so far?

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

5. When Buddy goes to answer a knock at his door, he has an erection from reading about a Christian wife who goes to bed with her make-up on. What does this incident tell us about Buddy?

6. Robbins writes, "Those people who recognize that imagination is reality's master, we call 'sages', and those who act upon it, we call 'artists.'" What do you think he means by this and why is the distinction important?

7. Why does Ellen Cherry give up her art?

8. Do you see any irony in Salome's determination only to do the Dance of the Seven Veils if she can have John the Baptist's head on a platter? Why or why not?

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

10. Describe why Boomer says he feels guilty about his success as an artist.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider where all the objects end up. Painted Stick and Conch Shell are hiding and waiting for the third temple. Can 'o Beans is left to rust. Spoon is picked up by Boomer and returned to Ellen Cherry. Dirty Sock is still stuck in the Manhattan cathedral. Do their final locations have some kind of symbolic significance? How is each location and/or condition in which the objects are left meaningful in the context of the novel's themes?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the significance of the title. Ellen Cherry comments that Salome has skinny legs for a belly dancer. Why do you think that Robbins chose this as the defining moment of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Work out a detailed character analysis of Buddy. Consider his political and religious views, his actions, his desires, his past, his physical appearance, and his voice. Is he a consistent character? Can you discover some hint of his psychological condition? What leads him to his radical views? Does he strike you as a realistic character? How does his personality play into the action of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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