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. While at the Pacific Science Center, Shawn indicates someone "looks a lot more 'mad' back then." Who is Shawn referring to?

3. How far away from Cindy and her friends is Shawn usually sitting before he is put to bed?

4. What does Vonda usually do when she is with Shawn?

5. In Chapter 11, what does Paul give Shawn while his mother is not looking?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the Annie-Sullivan-meeting-Helen Keller-in-The Miracle-Worker routine and what does Shawn think about it?

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

3. What is Sydney McDaniel's definition of parental love, as offered on The Alice Ponds Show?

4. 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?

5. How does Shawn react to meeting his sister's friend Ally, and why?

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

7. In Chapter 14, Shawn dreams that his father sees angels. What is the significance of the angels?

8. What does Shawn mean when he says that "invisibility has its advantages" when it comes to girls?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shawn states that he does not like it when people are called "special." Write about at least two characters who can be considered "special" in Stuck in Neutral.

Part 1) What does Shawn mean by "special," who is considered "special," and in what way are there characters in Stuck in Neutral considered special?

Part 2) How does Shawn's attitude and the attitude of others about being considered "special" add tension to the plot?

Essay Topic 2

Shawn, his sister, and his mother witness the death of a dog that is hit by a car. How does this experience affect Shawn and his perception of death?

Part 1) What are the circumstances surrounding the death of the dog? How is the dog injured? What do Shawn's sister and mother do when the dog is injured? What do they do when the dog dies? What does Shawn see and experience when the dog dies and what is his attitude toward death just after the dog dies?

Part 2) Why is it important in the story that Shawn remembers witnessing the death of the dog? How does the topic of death relate to Shawn's own life? Does experiencing the death of the dog affect Shawn? How does Shawn feel about death as he remembers the death of the dog, and what does Shawn think death means at this point in his life?

Essay Topic 3

One evening, Shawn is left with Vonda, his respite care provider. That evening, lying alone in the dark, Shawn hears his father come into the house. Vonda is a fan of Mr. McDaniel and asks for an autograph. How is Vonda's behavior toward Shawn and Sydney symbolic of the way they each are treated by the general population? How did this dichotomy come about? How does it affect Shawn's quality of life in general? What might it mean in particular on the night that Shawn's father's orders are followed unquestioningly? Provide examples from the novel to back up your point of view.

(see the answer keys)

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