Small Steps Test | Final 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 X-Ray reveal about himself to Armpit's boss?

2. What does Kaira tell Armpit about El Genius?

3. How does Kaira discover Armpit is ticklish?

4. What does X-Ray say to Armpit when X-Ray calls?

5. What surprises Armpit when he observes a suspect being questioned?

Short Essay Questions

1. What have Aileen and El Genius been doing with Kaira's money, and why does El Genius want Armpit to come to San Francisco?

2. Describe Armpit's conversation with Detective Newburg.

3. What does Armpit notice as he is telling Ginny about his time with Kaira?

4. What does El Genius do in Armpit's room?

5. Describe the phone conversation between X-Ray and Armpit.

6. Describe the interaction between Armpit and Kaira in the hotel restaurant.

7. How does Kaira discover that Armpit is ticklish and what does Fred interrupt?

8. In what dilemmas is Armpit immersed, and what does he decide?

9. What happens when El Genius encounters Armpit in the hotel?

10. What "game" do Kaira and Armpit play when they leave the hotel restaurant and what does Kaira disclose to Armpit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an important part of what makes Small Steps interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Armpit. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he always likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Kaira. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of El Genius. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss Small Steps based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Small Steps is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider Small Steps a successful novel? What about young teens?

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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