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. Whom do Ginny and Armpit notice Kaira arguing with after the concert?

2. What does the security guard ask of Armpit?

3. What do Ginny and Armpit do in Kaira's dressing room?

4. What does X-Ray try to convince Armpit to do?

5. What does the Mayor suggest about the police behavior?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Armpit finally understand his economics concepts?

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

5. What happens between Armpit and some police officers and why?

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

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

8. Who goes with Armpit to meet X-Ray, and why does Armpit refuse to sell any tickets to the white guys the first time Armpit and X-ray meet up with them?

9. What happens to Armpit on his way home, and why does the incident not bother him?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Over the course of Small Steps, Armpit grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. Small Steps might be considered a slice of Armpit's larger story of his "coming of age." It might be said that Small Steps is a "bildungsroman" of Theodore Johnson. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Armpit as he changes from a more immature, gullible boy to a wiser, young man. What are the significant events that change Armpit?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Armpit's growth throughout Small Steps, do you think Small Steps could be considered Armpit's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in Small Steps who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Small Steps. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sachar chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sachar chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Sachar's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Sachar use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 3

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Armpit and X-Ray. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Ginny and Kaira. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in Small Steps help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the story line. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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