Stuck in Neutral 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. At the premiere reading of the poem, who is referred to as "Bing-Bong"?

2. What is the pain that Dad speaks of wanting to end for Shawn?

3. Why does Shawn get confused about some aspects and experiences of life?

4. How does Shawn's mother describe Sydney to Connie?

5. What sensory experiences does Shawn remember as they drive away from the scene of the accident?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Cindy do when the dog is hit by a car?

2. Why does Shawn think that his father is smart?

3. How does Shawn's special gift progress and strengthen?

4. According to Shawn, who is the Shawn in the poem written by his father?

5. When talking to her mother, how does Cindy explain her experience with the dog's death?

6. What "techniques of making contact" does Shawn mention have not been tried on him?

7. How does Shawn describe his father?

8. How much control does Shawn have over his seizures?

9. When Shawn first heard people referred to as "vegetables," what types of images did he envision in his head?

10. What kinds of things is Shawn able to remember using his gift?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The theme of quality of life is central to Stuck in Neutral. Shawn is considered by some to have the life and awareness of a vegetable.

Part 1) How does Shawn first misinterpret this concept? What does it really mean? Who thinks that Shawn is a vegetable? Are they correct? Why or why not? How do the concepts of being a vegetable being famous, or being productive relate to "quality of life?" How does the concept of being productive relate?

Part 2) Shawn describes how his father enjoys life and how he is productive. Are these things that Shawn can aspire to doing as well? How might the inability to do these things cause Shawn's father and others to judge Shawn's quality of life? Does Shawn agree with them? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Watching The Alice Ponds Show, it is apparent that both Sydney McDaniel and Earl Detraux say that killing their children is about doing the right thing for the kids. Write an essay about the theme of parental responsibility and mercy killing a disabled child as it relates to Sydney and/or Earl. Pick one of these topics to write about.

Topic 1) What is Sydney's attitude toward the mercy killing a disabled child? It is analogous to what type of disciplinary action a parent might take? How does he relate it to parental responsibility? What is his attitude toward Earl's mercy killing of his child, Collin? Who or what does Sydney say killed Collin?

Topic 2) What is Earl's attitude toward the mercy killing of his own son? Why does he say he smothers him? How does he relate it to parental responsibility? What does he say when asked how he would feel if a cure for Collin is invented? How does this relate to parental responsibility? Is Earl's behavior an example of a mature level of parental responsibility? Why or why not?

Topic 3) What are the similarities and differences between Sydney's and Earl's point of view on parental responsibility and mercy killing a disabled child. Do you think that Earl's actions influence Sydney, validate Sydney's already-existing point of view, or something else? Is Sydney's thought process about mercy killing a disabled child indicative of a mature level of parental responsibility? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Shawn's mother calls his brother and sister into the living room, to tell Paul and Cindy that their father is working on the Earl Detraux project. Describe the reaction of Cindy and Paul to their father's latest project and the talk show.

Part 1) What is Cindy's reaction to her father's latest project, both before and after the kids discuss it with their mother. Does she already know about Detraux? What does she think about what Earl does? What does she think about her father's involvement in this topic, and to what does she attribute his involvement? Consider the same questions for Paul.

Part 2) Describe the difference in how Cindy and Paul react to their father's project after they discuss the topic with their mother.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,382 words
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