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. At the end of Chapter 9, what suddenly matters a lot to Shawn?

2. According to Shawn in Chapter 10, what does it mean when his mother sounds overly positive?

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

4. What kind of tournament is Paul entering with his teammates?

5. What does Shawn's father say he did, night after night, when Shawn was born?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. 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?

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. How does Shawn describe the African animal mobile that hangs over his bed, and why does he describe it in this manner?

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

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

9. On The Alice Ponds Show, what is Alice Ponds' goal while interviewing Sydney McDaniel.

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

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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