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. How many steps does the narrator describe that Theodore needs to take to change his life?

2. What do Ginny and Armpit purchase before making their way to their seats?

3. Whom does Murdock only see once a month?

4. How does Tatiana respond when Armpit says hello to her?

5. For how much has X-Ray advertised the tickets?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is X-Ray and what does he want of Armpit and what is Armpit's initial response to X-Ray's proposal?

2. Who is Ginny and what do she and Armpit talk about when he gets home?

3. Describe the time leading up to Armpit and Ginny finally getting in their seats.

4. Why does Armpit get angry with X-Ray, and how does X-Ray respond?

5. Why are Armpit's parents concerned about Armpit taking Ginny to the concert?

6. What does Kaira decide to sing and how does it turn out?

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

8. What does Ginny's mother allow Armpit to do and what comment does she make that surprises Armpit's mother?

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

10. What speech does Armpit deliver using Coo as a prop, and how does Tatiana respond?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Small Steps, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in Small Steps. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Small Steps and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Small Steps is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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