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. According to Shawn, how often does Shawn visit his father's house?

2. What is Shawn's bed like at home?

3. What happens during the commercial after the interview of Earl Detraux on the Alice Ponds Show?

4. Which of the following is not a happy memory for Shawn?

5. In Chapter 12, Cindy admits to feeling guilty about what?

Short Essay Questions

1. The morning after Ally spends the night, why does Shawn think that something is wrong?

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

3. What are some of the things in Chapter 10 that Shawn remembers about his mother from over the years that make him feel loved?

4. 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?

5. What is apparent about the relationship between Paul and his father after Paul finds out that his father wants him to go on the Alice Ponds show?

6. What did Shawn's father do at the Pacific Science Center when Shawn was eight years old?

7. Which characters are going to Spokane in chapter 13 and why is it significant that they are going?

8. Why does Shawn say in Chapter 12 that he never loved or feared his brother more than at one particular moment the previous summer?

9. If Shawn has never been to his father's house, does Shawn have an accurate knowledge of what his father's bedroom looks like, and if so, how does he know?

10. On The Alice Ponds Show, there is a clip of an interview between Sydney McDaniel and Earl Detraux. What does Earl Detraux look like and what is his demeanor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What are Shawn's main methods for learning about life? Does he learn from people, through other means, or both? How does Shawn learn in these ways? What challenges does learning in these ways present? How does Shawn's intelligence and genius help or hinder him in the process when he encounters a learning challenge?

Essay Topic 3

Cindy often has sleepovers and Shawn's reaction to his sister's friends shows that in some ways he is a typical teenage boy.

Part 1) How does his sister and her friends regard Shawn? How do they think of him? How do they react to him and behave around him?

Part 2) How does Shawn normally react to his sister's friends? How does he react to Ally? Does he judge her behavior by the same standards as he uses for other girls? Why or why not?

Part 3) Why does Shawn think that Ally is "so perfect!"? Is he reacting like a normal teenage boy, or is something else at play here? How does his reaction to Ally help or hinder the plot?

(see the answer keys)

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