Small Steps 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 happens when Armpit tries to buy a newspaper?

2. How does Ginny react to Coo's loss?

3. What does X-Ray warn Armpit to do?

4. Why does Armpit decide to take Ginny to the concert?

5. What is Kaira's reaction to the mention of Dylan and Joplin?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Karia DeLeon?

2. Why does Kaira ride in the band's bus and whose music does the band play for her?

3. What does Kaira say about Armpit and Ginny's experience with the forged tickets?

4. Where does Kaira take Armpit and Ginny and what do they do?

5. Why does Armpit want to borrow one of Ginny's stuffed animals and which one does she recommend?

6. What happens that makes Theodore decide to turn his life around?

7. About what does the band hint to Kaira and what is her response?

8. What does Armpit impulsively do as far as Tatiana is concerned?

9. Why is Cotton fired and what does Kaira promise to do about it?

10. What does Armpit's counselor advise Armpit about taking steps?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Important elements in Chapter 14 and 15 include the Mayor's outright suggestion that the actions of the police are motivated and/or defined by racism and the appearance of the Mayor herself. This comes across as something of a deus ex machina, a term first used in Ancient Greek theater to describe an incident in which conflict was resolved by the unexpected intervention of an all-powerful god, arbitrary but necessary for the story to be resolved how the author wanted it to be. Yes, the author of "Small Steps" has made an effort to establish at least some relationship between Armpit and the Mayor (Chapter 1), but there is the sense that the only reason that scene exists is to make the mayor's appearance here seem a little less unlikely. If that is, in fact, the case, the attempt doesn't really work. It seems highly unlikely that such an important official as the mayor, even one who enjoys Kaira's music as much as this one seems to, would be on the crowded floor of the stadium during a concert.

1. Do you think it is likely or unlikely that the police's actions were partly due to racism? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

2. Explain in detail, why the mayor being at the concert was a type of deus ex machina. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

3. Explain, in depth, why the mayor being at the concert was or was not a narrative contrivance. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in Small Steps.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of Small Steps. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of Small Steps. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 3

Escaping the past, is explored or commented on in several ways. The first is in the opening images of Chapter 6, in which the man crossing the street is portrayed as, and seen by Armpit as, avoiding him because of his criminal history. The key point here is that Armpit chooses not to react - that is, he's no longer reacting negatively to those who DO react negatively to his past. Armpit's determination to move beyond his past also manifests in his avoidance of the teenagers in the car, all of whom he knows from his previous life and all of whom are living and/or behaving in ways that he no longer wants to participate in.

1. Do you think it is unlikely that the man crossed the street to avoid Armpit? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss ways in which a person like Armpit might set himself free from his past. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss the changes that may have occurred inside Armpit that keeps him from reacting negatively to the man on the street. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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