Stuck in Neutral 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. On The Alice Ponds Show, what does Sydney McDaniel claim kills Collin?

2. What do Cindy's friends do in front of Shawn that he sees as a "silver lining?"

3. During the doozy of a seizure that Shawn has during the Alice Ponds Show, what does Shawn experience?

4. Cindy says something on the Alice Ponds Show that Paul calls "classic." What does she say?

5. After Shawn's father sits on his oversized crib, what does he do to Shawn?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Vonda excited to meet Shawn's father?

2. Paul and Shawn's mother have opposite views about Sydney, Shawn's father. Who does Shawn agree with and what is his opinion of his father?

3. In Chapter 14, why does Shawn fall asleep exhausted at ten o'clock that night?

4. While Shawn has a doozy of a seizure during the end of the Alice Ponds show, what does he experience?

5. Why does Paul grab Cindy by the shirt front and pull back his fist to hit her?

6. What is Shawn's opinion of the role of memories and "being known for who you are" when someone dies?

7. Why is it significant that Shawn's father volunteers to take care of Shawn by himself overnight and sends Vonda home?

8. Paul and Cindy discuss their father's appearance on The Alice Ponds Show. What do they think about what their father says on the show?

9. What does Shawn try to tell his father over and over again in Chapter 16, and why?

10. Shawn looks at his father, who is sitting on the bed apparently considering whether or not he should end Shawn's life. What does he notice about his father's appearance?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Point of view in a novel allows the reader to experience the story. In Stuck in Neutral, the story is told from the point of view of how many characters?

Part 1) Why is the story told this way? What are the limitations and advantages of having this many point of view characters? Why is it necessary to tell this particular story in this way?

Part 2) How would the story have been different if the story was told from the point of view of multiple characters, or from the point of view of another character? Make a list of at least three ways the story would have been different and present it to the class.

Essay Topic 2

Shawn thinks about how he and his father both have double jointed thumbs and how his father will sometimes perform the "thumb ritual."

Part 1) Provide at least three reasons how the author uses the double-jointed thumbs as an element in the novel. For each, explain how it adds to the novel. Does the juxtaposition of Shawn's thumbs and his father's thumbs create a comparison, contrast, irony, foreshadow, or something else?

Part 2) How does Shawn say he feels during this ritual. Explain what Shawn's feelings about his father during this ritual contributes to the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Sydney McDaniel writes a poem that wins him a Pulitzer prize. This poem symbolizes everything Mr. McDaniel sees and feels about Shawn's disability. Shawn, however, has mixed feelings about the poem. He believes that the fame that the poem brings his father has made him into a professional victim. He also sees the valid benefits of the fame. Name three ways in which the poem turns Sydney into a professional victim and several ways that the fame produces valid benefits for the family.

(see the answer keys)

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