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. What does Can 'o Beans identify as one of the major causes of mental illness in human beings?

2. What happens when Boomer and Ellen Cherry are in the western bar?

3. How do Painted Stick and Conch Shell know Jezebel?

4. What does Roland Abu Hadee do after he is kicked out of school?

5. To what does Patsy Charles attribute Ellen Cherry Charles' move to New York?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do we learn about Buddy and Verlin when they forcefully remove Ellen Cherry from her art class?

2. Why does Boomer turn an airstream into a Turkey?

3. Describe Turn Around Norman's Activity. How is it important in the novel?

4. All of the objects are given a gender except Can 'o Beans. Why is this significant?

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

6. 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?

7. Why do you think that Ellen Cherry wants Boomer to call her "Jezebel" when they are intimate?

8. What do you think Robbins is saying by personifying objects and having them secretly move?

9. What does Robbins say about religion at the end of the Fourth Veil?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does nature figure into this novel? Consider the instances where people or objects come into contact with nature or natural forces. For example, when the objects are making their way to New York, they encounter several natural obstacles along the way. Do these events (or others that involve contact with nature) have a significance beyond their function in the plot? For example, is the natural world a place where things are possible that aren't in the city? Are the events individually symbolic?

Essay Topic 2

There are definitely two different worlds in this novel. There is the human world and the object world. The object world, of course, is totally aware of and even engaged in the human world, but the opposite is not true. Explore the different qualities of these two worlds. In what ways, if any, do the objects actually influence or impact the course of events in the human world? Are there any features or aspects of the two worlds that clearly differentiate them from each other?

Essay Topic 3

All the objects, except Can 'o Beans, are given a gender. Provide an analysis of the objects in terms of gender and consider why Can 'o Beans is left genderless. What qualities do each object represent? Are these characteristics typically associated with the gender that object is assigned?

(see the answer keys)

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